Kenya bans passenger flights from Dubai
Kenya has suspended all inbound and transit passenger flights from United Arabs Emirates (UAE) for seven days.
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director-General Gilbert Kibe on Tuesday morning said that the ban which took effect from Monday midnight was in response to a similar directive by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) on December 20 last year.
“Inbound and transit passenger flights from UAE are suspended for a period of seven days. Talks have been happening and are still ongoing, but we are doing this in reciprocation of the similar ban. This is what the government has decided to do,” said Mr Kibe.
Kibe said the ban does not however affect cargo flights that are normally flown by carriers such as Kenya Airways and Emirates airline from UEA into Kenya.
The ban comes barely a few days after UAE extended Kenya flight ban after it established that travellers from Nairobi were testing positive for Covid-19 after arrival in the Middle East nation, despite carrying negative test results.
Last month, the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) suspended all inbound and transit passenger flights to the Emirate of Dubai from any point in the Republic of Kenya.
On December 29, 2021, Emirates Airline said that it has, in turn, extended its flights from Kenya suspension to comply with the directive that was to end on December 24 until further notice.
The Dubai Aviator regulator had pointed out that the middle eastern country had banned all inbound and transit passenger flights from Kenya because travelers were testing positive for Covid-19 after arrival despite carrying negative test results.
It is believed that the scheme involved a racket of corrupt officials from Ministry of Health who colluded with travelers to issue fake Covid-19 PCR results to aid travel to Dubai.
Under the new measures by Dubai, travellers from Africa will now be required to provide a report on rapid PCR test conducted at the departure airport six hours before leaving for Dubai.
This is in addition to a negative Covid-19 test certificate issued within 48 hours of arrival in Dubai.
The new rules, which apply to both passengers terminating their journey and those transiting through Dubai, are expected to affect Africans, most of whom prefer Dubai as a transit point, due to its interconnectivity and the lower fares charged by its national carrier, Emirates Airlines.
The new measures will also see passengers, including those in transit, undergo a PCR test upon arrival in Dubai and self-quarantine until a negative test result is out.
The suspension of all inbound and transit passenger flights from Kenya came barely a few days after Kenya Airways (KQ) suspended passenger flights to Dubai following the flights’ ban by the Middle East country amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in Kenya.
Dubai-based Emirates Airlines also announced that it has, in turn, extended its flights from Kenya suspension to comply with the directive.