NAIROBI, KENYA: Passenger airlines returned to business Wednesday morning after months of absence due to movement restrictions imposed by the government to minimize the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Kisumu International Airport bounced back to life with the Kenya Airways, Fly 540, Jambo jet landing at the lakeside airport in the morning hours.
In Mombasa Jambo Jet was the first to land at the Moi International Airport at around 8 am followed by national carrier Kenya Airways.
The Kenya Airways flight to Mombasa (Embraer type) carried 93 passengers which is three passengers short of its full capacity.
Tourism players at the coastal city welcomed the re-opening move signaling hope to hotels and the region’s overall economy which has been starved for months from premium visitors.
Allan Kilavuka, the Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer was among the passengers in the flight. It is understood that passengers paid Sh5,500 for the KQ Nairobi-Mombasa flight (one-way)
While partially unlocking the country early this month, President Uhuru Kenyatta said international air travel will begin on August 1 offering another opportunity for airlines to rescue their businesses battered by the Corona Virus pandemic.
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Airlines grounded their passenger flights early this year following restriction measures including inter-states border closures to tame the spread of coronavirus globally.
In Kenya, the government banned inter-county travel in and out Mandera, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale technically pushing out the airline from business.
The Kenya Airways flight to Kisumu landed at around mid-day on Wednesday while the Jambojet maiden post-Covid-19 flight lifted passengers at 7.45 am to Eldoret.