Nairobi 1st August, 2020: Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has today flagged off a Kenya Airways flight to London for the resumption of International flights, ahead of receiving Lufthansa, British Airways and KLM later in the day following the reopening of Kenyan airspace for international flights.
Speaking during the flag off the Kenya Airways flight to London at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Mr Gitari lauded the international airlines for the for ensuring that they are fully compliant with the health and safety measures against Covid-19, saying their return to growth would also buoy the fortunes of KAA.
“Kenya Airports Authority regards the resumption of international flights as a significant milestone in the aviation industry which has been one of the hardest hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have not had international flights for 120 days,” said Alex Gitari, the Ag. Managing Director of KAA.
Airports Council International now estimates a reduction of more than 4.6 billion passengers in 2020. The estimated decline in total airport revenues on a global scale is estimated to be more than $97 billion for 2020.
“The protocols issued for Air Travel Operations during the Covid-19 Public Health Crisis have been developed to help contain the spread of the virus and ensure that the sector is opened up taking cognizance of the measures put in place by the Ministry of Health,” said Mr. Gitari
Some of the measures put in place at Kenyan airports to minimize the spread of Covid-19 virus include; installation of thermal screening equipment, provision of handwashing and sanitization stations, provision of Port Health observation rooms and mounting of physical distancing markers.
Mr Gitari reiterated that passengers arriving in Kenya will need a Covid-19 Certificate for a test taken not earlier than 96 hours before flight. The passengers will be subjected to thermos screening and will be expected not to exhibit any sign related to Covid-19.
“At the airport, the passengers will be observed by our port health personnel for Covid-19 symptoms, they are also expected to have filled a questionnaire and there is an app that has been issued to guide passengers on filling that questionnaire before they arrive,” said Mr Gitari. He added that the questionnaire is supposed to help the authorities with contact tracing where necessary.
Passenger departing from Kenya will be required to check and ascertain the protocols that they are expected to fulfill in their destination countries.
The KAA Managing Director noted that KAA had already provided its frontline staff with personal protective equipment including masks, gloves and disinfectants in sufficient quantities. “Further to that, we continue to sensitize and communicate to all our staff on Covid-19 preventive measures,” he concluded.