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Kenya Airways to ground 90 percent of its fleet following Coronavirus threat

Kenya Airways coronavirus
Kenya Airways has suspended international flights and plans to restrict operations for domestic flights following a state order

Kenya Airways has suspended its international flights and plans to restrict the operations of its domestic flights following a state order banning international flights on the back of the coronavirus epidemic. In the backdrop of the Coronavirus outbreak, Kenya Airways will ground 90 percent of its fleet, media reports said.

Kenya Airways took the decision after the state passed an order to cease operations of all incoming and outgoing international flights. Currently, the airline has temporarily suspended flights to and from Guangzhou, China in addition to other destinations to curb the coronavirus spread. 

However, cargo flights will continue operations despite the epidemic. CEO Allan Kilavuka said that the suspension of flights have disturbed schedules and caused inconvenience to customers.

Further restriction on travel has affected the airline’s weak financial position. Nearly 20 flights will be suspended with the remaining six continuing operations of domestic routes, media reports said. Kenya Airways’ domestic flights to Mombasa and Kisumu will continue operations. 

It is reported that eight more people are tested positive for coronavirus, totalling the number to 15 in the country. CEO Allan Kilavuka said in a statement, “All the eight came through JKIA (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport)between March 4 and 17.” 

In fact, the pandemic is anticipated to cost African airlines $40 million in revenue this year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecast. 

Last December, IATA forecast pointed out that African airlines would take a hit, with a loss of nearly $200 million in 2020.

IATA said that the global aviation industry could see a 4.7 percent drop in revenue per passenger kilometre this year. The global aviation industry is projected to lose $29 billion in 2020. 

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