Social distancing won’t be applied in planes as Kenya resumes international flights

A KQ Plane. [Photo courtesy]

As international flights resume on August 1, Kenya’s Transport Ministry has said that airlines in the country will operate at almost normal capacity despite COVID-19 pandemic.

Transport CS James Macharia on Wednesday said that this move is aimed at cushioning the airlines from making further losses.

Macharia explained that if planes operate below 75 percent of their capacity, they will be making tremendous losses.

“The passengers must go with Covid-19 free certificate. I would expect that if you are flying out, it would be prudent for you to be tested because you may not be allowed into other countries,” he said at the launch of protocols to guide the aviation industry.

This, he said will bolster the tourism sector which is a major forex earner for Kenya. The sector came an unprecedented halt following the coronavirus pandemic.

However, all passengers boarding the plane will be required to wear face masks all the time and observe the set hygiene measures.

The Transport CS also said that that passenger coming to Kenya may be exempted from the mandatory 14-day quarantine if their temperature is within the normal range of 370 C and if none of the passengers in the plane exhibits COVID-19 symptoms.

Nonetheless, ticket prices for KQ are likely to increase going by a statement issued by the airline’s CEO Allan Kilavuka in May.

Kilavuka after a Webinar with Tourism CS Najib Balala noted that: “Travel is not going to be cheap. 55-65 per cent of people travel for leisure.

“Therefore we are going to lose 51-76 per cent of our market between now and December as business travellers are the ones that are going to travel first.”