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A Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 at Schiphol Airport. The airline is increasing its international flight schedule as Kenya has relaxed travel restrictions. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | James Dinsdale)

Kenya Airways, RwandAir Return to the Skies

After 129 days of government restrictions on international flights, Kenya Airways will recommence international routes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that has spanned the globe and caused a worldwide travel dropoff, African Aerospace reports.

“Since resuming domestic flights on July 15, 2020, we have been monitoring the adherence to the protocols that we have in place to ensure the health and safety of our customers and staff, and I am pleased that they are being enforced and followed strictly,” said Allan Kilavuka, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Airways.

The first flights were marked with two intercontinental flights to London and Dubai, while Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kigali, Rwanda; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Lusaka, Zambia were the first regional international flights for the SkyTeam Alliance member.

Kenya Airways also expects a gradual increase in its network throughout the month of August with flights to Paris; Mumbai, India and Amsterdam. In Africa, the airline will launch to flights to Accra, Ghana; Dzaoudzi, Mayotte; Freetown, Sierra Leona; Harare, Zimbabwe; Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; Lagos, Nigeria; Monrovia, Liberia; Moroni, Comoros; Nampula, Mozambique and Zanzibar, Tanzania with focus on increased travel demands and travel regulations to those destinations.

“The resumption of our international flights is an important milestone for us. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to provide connections for our farmer’s produce to reach international markets, medical supplies to reach our people through our Cargo flights, as well as reuniting families through the repatriation flights we mounted with support from the Government of Kenya. We look forward to welcoming our guests on board as we play our role in kick starting economies, not only for Kenya but also for those countries that we operate to,” Kilavuka continued.

Rwandair Restarts International Operations

Rwandair also returned to the skies, beginning international flights on Aug. 1, as previously announced by the Rwanda Development Board.

The flights started with selected African routes where travel restrictions have been eased and borders reopened.

“Now travel bans and restrictions are being relaxed, we can once again resume flying and look forward to welcoming our highly-valued customers back to RwandAir,” said RwandAir CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo.

The airline has put in place a robust health and safety system that ensures coronavirus mitigation. Among other measures, passengers, including those in transit through Rwanda, will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arriving in Rwanda.

“We want to ensure our return to flying matches consumer demand as the world adapts to travel in the post-COVID-19 world, where the health, safety and security of our customers and staff will continue to be of paramount importance. As we adjust to the ‘new normal’, our strict new health and hygiene measures will keep customers and our ground and on board crew safe,” Makolo continued.

Victor Shalton
Victor Shalton
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