Kenya on Saturday resumed international flights ending a four-month interruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
At least five Kenya Airways flights left the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi to various destinations including Ethiopia and the United Kingdom.
The first international flight left JKIA for Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa at 4.05 am and at 11.30 am, the first flight landed at the Nairobi airport from Kigali, Rwanda.
“As we come back, we will be following traffic and demand. If demand picks up we will increase traffic and destinations and when it slows down we respond effectively,” said Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka.
The flights resumed under strict Covid-19 protocols for passengers including wearing of face masks all the time, observing social distance and carrying a Covid-19-free certificate.
“We following the protocols because this is a matter of life and death,” a passenger travelling to London on KQ flight for a wedding said.
Foreign Affairs CAS Ababu Namwamba said Kenya Airways' operations are crucial to boost the country's economy and bilateral ties with foreign nations.
18 countries have received government's clearance to operate flights to and from Kenya including Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda.
Others are the US (except California, Florida, and Texas) United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Italy, China, Zimbabwe, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Namibia, and Morocco.
Transport CS James Macharia said the list of countries and regulations will be reviewed from time to time.
Travelers arriving in Kenya from the aforementioned nations will be exempted from quarantine as long as they have a PCR-based Covid-19 negative certificate and have a body temperature not exceeding 37.5°C.
“They should not have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing, or other flu-like symptoms and must have been tested 96 hours before travel,” Macharia said.