With effect from April 9, Kenya Airways will suspend all its flights to the UK. This decision comes after the UK has places Kenya on the “Red list” of countries in their traffic light plan for international travel. This will prevent most travellers from flying since they will require a hotel quarantine on return to the UK. The airline instead plans to fly extra services over the next three days in anticipation of high traffic due to the ban.

The Kenyan government took this decision to ban flights, rather than lower frequencies, in retaliation to the UK’s travel ban. The reduction in flights will impact passengers in the future. Under the UK’s new travel ban, only British and Irish citizens, along with those with residence rights, will be allowed to travel to the UK after 4:00 AM on 9th April. Travellers who do not fall under these categories will need to stay in a government approved quarantine hotel for 10 days and take two COVID tests after their arrival into the UK. Failure to complete the quarantine or violations could even result in jail time for travelers.

The Kenyan government has openly criticized the UK for its lack of communication regarding the imposition of the travel ban. The decision to cut flights will inconvenience Kenyan citizens and the few who are allowed and wish to travel to the UK. Moreover, the reduction in the flight operations will be a massive setback to Kenya Airways, which recently reported huge losses.

Kenya Airways will add two more flights to the UK on the 7th and 8th of April, in preparation for the travel ban. These services have been introduced to help travelers who are looking to enter the UK or return home before the travel ban sets in. However, demand is extremely likely to outstrip supply in times of travel bans. Direct flight prices to the UK have already surged after the news of the ban while connecting flights remain slightly cheaper but could rise in prices in the next few hours or days.


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