Air France and KLM will tomorrow resume passenger flights to Kenya following the lifting of the ban on international flights into Kenya due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The move comes after Kenya on July 6 lifted an earlier ban on inbound flights due to the Covid-19 health crisis, allowing airlines to fly into the country effective August 1.
Passengers can now fly Air France and KLM from Nairobi to Paris and Amsterdam with the possibility of transfer to other European and North Atlantic destinations. KLM has scheduled four weekly passenger flights between Amsterdam Schiphol and Nairobi on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday flying the Boeing 787-10.
On its part, Air France will resume flights from August 6 with one passenger flight per week on the Boeing 787-9 from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Nairobi on Thursdays returning to Paris on Friday.
Countries around the world have been gradually opening up their borders to pave way for resumption of global air travel after flights were suspended due to travel restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.
Air France – KLM Commercial Director for Eastern Africa Steven Van Wijk, says the flights to and from Nairobi will be operated in strict compliance with local and international health protocols and will adhere to the highest standards of health and hygiene.
“We wish to assure all our customers that we have taken precautionary measures to ensure that we conduct our operations safely, comfortably and responsibly. The safety of our passengers and crew will always be our top priority and this is why we have taken all necessary measures in accordance with WHO guidelines,” said Steven.
Passengers are however advised to familiarize themselves with applicable travel restrictions that vary from country to country and may be subject to change prior to booking. In particular, they need to be aware of the entry and residency rules for the destination countries as these are likely to have changed with the evolving global health situation.
KLM and Air France have taken various measures before and after boarding at Schiphol and Charles de Gaulle airports. This includes clear communication on social distancing at check in, gates and service/transfer desks. Passengers will also be screened depending on the laws applicable at the passenger’s point of departure and destination. In addition, they will only be allowed to pay for various services using a debit or credit card.
The aircraft are also equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters thus ensuring high-quality, clean cabin air that is circulated regularly and replaced every three minutes by the aircraft’s air-conditioning system. The airflows circulate top-down further reducing the chance of transmission of the virus from person to person.
Furthermore, passengers all sit facing in the same direction, which means there is little face-to-face interaction, with seat backs forming a barrier that prevents forward and backward transmission in the cabin.
The resumption of flights by Air France and KLM will further boost Kenya’s economic recovery efforts and especially the tourism and horticulture sectors which are dependent on air connectivity to key markets in Europe, US and other parts of the world.