Kenya rejects Oman Air proposal to fly stranded Kenyans in India back home

Oman Air
Oman Air plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the past.[Photo: NMG]

The Kenyan government has turned down an offer by Oman Air to evacuate Kenyans who are stranded in India.

The Kenyan Embassy in New Delhi, India, had early this week asked Kenyans who wish to fly back home to forward their details to the mission.

This follows travel restrictions in India after a new wave of COVID-19 infections which saw another ban on international travel imposed.

Kenyan High Commissioner to India Willy Bett in his rejection of Oman Air proposal said that it cannot lobby for another airline to be allowed into India except Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways.

“That the Kenyan High Commission is not in a position to seek clearance for a non-Kenyan airline. The airline agents should stop engaging Kenyan in India with matters of repatriation as this is a government function,” Bett indicated in the letter to Oman Air dated Monday.

“You may wish to ask for assistance from Oman Embassy in Nairobi and New Delhi,” he added according to Business Daily.

Oman Air is yet to resume flights to Nairobi after suspending its operations on March 29 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even after Kenya lifted its ban on international flights on August 1, it is yet to make a single flight.

The airline’s proposal comes as Kenya prepares to evacuate an unknown number of Kenyans who were unable to return home due to new COVID-19 restrictions in India set to be revised on September 1.

Between May and July, there were several repatriation flights from Mumbai to Nairobi. Majority of the Kenyans who had been stuck in India had gone there to seek medical treatment.