Kenya lifts ban on Dubai flights
By Paul Kariuki
The Government has bowed to pressure from travelers and lifted the ban on all inbound and transit flights from Dubai which has been in place for the past two weeks.
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general Gilbert Kibe (pictured) said Kenya lifted the ban from Monday midnight
This means flights from Dubai will be allowed into the country from Tuesday, January 25.
The ban’s introduction was perceived as a retaliatory measure as it followed Dubai’s move to ban inbound flights from Kenya.
On 20th January, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates failed to reach a consensus on the ban.
Kenya insisted Dubai first lift its ban on flights from Kenya, after which Nairobi would follow suit.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Rachel Omamo broke the sad news that the two countries were yet to agree, saying the talks were between her ministry, the ministry of health and the officials from the Arab state.
The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) banned all flights from Kenya on December 20 claiming several passengers arriving from Nairobi tested positive for Covid-19, yet they had certificates issued in Kenya showing they were negative.
It also said passengers who have been in or transited through Kenya in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Dubai.
On January 11, Kenya suspended all inbound and transit passenger flights from the United Arabs Emirates to retaliate.
“Kenya shall do a NOTAM lifting the suspension of flights to and from UAE from midnight Monday,’’ Kibe stated while announcing the lifting of the ban.
The ban had dealt Kenya Airways a major blow as the national carrier had seen an surge in bookings on the Dubai route thanks to the Dubai Expo.
But Kibe accused private medical testing centres of colluding with travellers to issue fake Covid-19 PCR results to aid their travel which forced Dubai to ban flights from Kenya.