Kenya Airways suspends all international flights over coronavirus

A Kenya Airways plane taxiing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. PHOTO| COURTESY

Kenya Airways has suspended all international passenger flights starting Wednesday.

Also Read: Emirates to suspend all passenger flights over coronavirus outbreak

In a statement on Sunday, KQ said cargo flights will however remain operational to offer emergency services and supplies.

“Today (Sunday) the Government of Kenya has issued a directive that requires all incoming and outgoing international passenger traffic to and from Kenya to cease from midnight on March 25, 2020. To comply with this directive, we have therefore temporarily suspended all international services effective midnight 25th March 2020, until further notice,” said KQ Managing Director and CEO Allan Kilavuka.

He noted that domestic flights to Mombasa and Kisumu will remain operational.

According to him, the company has been forced to reduce its network by over 70% which made it difficult to continue offering international passenger services.

Customers affected by the suspension of flights have been advised that they will be able to change their bookings for later travel or exchange their booking for vouchers for future travel within 12 months.

On Saturday, Kenya Airways announced that staff salaries would be temporarily trimmed following the coronavirus pandemic that hit the company’s bottom-line.

The management said all staff members wouldl see a downward revision of their monthly salaries by at least 50 per cent.

The CEO is to take a pay cut of 80% and this will be reviewed on a monthly basis.

“We are therefore not taking any decision on layoffs. Instead, we would like everybody to participate in taking a salary reduction and paid and unpaid leave,” Kilavuka said.

Earlier on Sunday, Emirates Group announced that it is temporarily suspending most passenger flights — maintaining just its cargo operations — because of coronavirus.

According to CNN, the Dubai-based airline plans to halt most passenger services as of March 25.

The company said it will however continue operating passenger flights to 13 destinations in response to “requests from governments.”

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