13-05-2020 by Leni Frau
The major airlines operating on routes between the Middle East, Africa and Europe are rolling their engines to restart passenger transport.
Qatar, Ethiopian and Emirates have already surveyed Italy and Kenya to find out when, among other routes, they will be able to restore connections for which there would already be demand.
The question, however, is: when will the Kenyan government reopen the airspace?
Today the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has organized a web-based meeting for experts explaining that this is the first step in view of a possible reopening of international airports in the country, and it is already an important signal because it means that in Nairobi they are seriously thinking about it.
Ethiopian Airways has already made it known that from Tuesday 19 May it is ready to restart with the Addis Ababa-Milan flight and from the following day with the same flight in the opposite direction.
The positive response from Malpensa Airport seems to have already arrived, so much so that the Ethiopian national airline has already put the tickets on sale.
At the same time there was a survey with the Ministry of Transport of Kenya, which reiterated the blockade of airports in and out until the end of May 26, as announced last April 25 by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who extended by 21 days the decree he had issued for the first time on March 25.
Qatar Airways also said it was ready to reopen the Doha-Milan route from 24 May, in addition to the Doha- Fiumicino route which was never interrupted, and to arrive at a total of seven connections to Italy a week, with major measures at the airport in the Qatari capital such as the obligatory instant buffer. In June it could then restore Doha-Nairobi at least once a week.
Contacts of interest for Kenya would also take place with the national airline of Dubai, Emirates. According to reports, after a few exchanges and virtual meetings, some Kenyan civil aviation executives have suggested a date for the reopening of the Kenyan skies around the first week of June.
If this is the case, Kenya could return to receive foreigners (only if they have a certificate of non-positivity and possibly obliged to do so again after 14 days from the date of arrival) and think about reopening hotels and lodges, also in view of the spectacle of the Great Migration in the Maasai Mara, which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.
Most probably the most numerous, the Americans, will be missing. But you can count on an influx from the East, China and Japan in the lead.
Everything clearly depends on how the country will feel about the pandemic.
For now the data seem comforting, but the swabs carried out in Kenya, only 33,000, do not yet authorize optimism.
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