Reprieve For Aviation Sector As Uhuru Announces Resumption Of International And Local Flights

A Kanya Airways plane [Photo/Courtesy]

International air travel will resume on August 1 after months of suspension, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Monday as he reopened the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing the nation from Harambee House, the Head of State also stated that local flights shall resume operations on July 15 under strict guidelines by the Ministry of Health and Transport.

“This will be in strict conformity with all protocols from the Ministry of Health, local as well as international civil aviation authorities and any additional requirements applicable at the ports of departure arrival or transit,” the President said while lifting travel restrictions in Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties.

The declaration is a relief to the aviation industry players and workers who were forced to halt operations as the government imposed restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19.

For instance, Kenya Airways KQ was recently forced let go of employees on probationary appointment over dwindling fortunes.

Read: KQ Staff On 6 Months Probation Program Terminated As Effects Of COVID-19 Hit Hard

They include but not limited to pilots, cabin crew and engineers.

On Friday, KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka said that the airline will effective July 6 send workers on unpaid leave.

“As we prepare for the anticipated resumption of domestic flight operations in Kenya, the projected depressed demand will require that we only keep the resources we will need for these operations. We will, therefore, request all staff who will not be required to support the reduced operations to proceed on unpaid leave effective Monday, 6th July 2020,” Kilavuka said in a statement.

Read Also: Kenya Airways Suspended From Trading At Nairobi Securities Exchange

He said the move follows essential consultations with relevant stakeholders and social partners seeking the best possible outcome for the company and its employees.

“While we have all put in a tremendous amount of work to keep our business afloat, it has become increasingly challenging to fulfill our obligations and maintain operations,” he said.

Mr Kivaluka also said that the airline’s short and medium term projections indicate that they will have to reduce operations before they can embark on an upward trend.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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