Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) on Thursday flagged off the resumption of East African Safari Air Express (East African) domestic flights and launched their Departure Lounge at Wilson Airport.
Speaking during the flagging off ceremony, Alex Gitari, the Ag. Managing Director of KAA said the airline had met the stringent requirements and standards set by KAA and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to resume domestic flights.
“We regard the resumption of domestic flights as a significant milestone in the aviation industry in Kenya which has been one of the hardest hit by the effects of COVID-19 pandemic. Wilson Airport is the nerve centre of domestic flights and now has 60 percent of aircraft movement at the airport,” said Mr. Gitari.
Mr. Gitari announced that KAA had decentralized boarding procedures at the Airport, allowing airlines such as East African Safari Air, Air Kenya, Safarilink Aviation, Bluebird Aviation and Z. Boskovic Air Charters to screen, check-in and board passengers from their respective terminals.
He lauded East African Safari Air Express and the four other air operators for ensuring that they are fully compliant with the necessary Covid-19 air travel operation protocols.
“The protocols issued for Air Travel Operations during the Covid-19 Public Health Crisis have been developed to help contain the spread of the virus and ensure that the sector is opened up, taking cognizance of the measures put in place by the Ministry of Health,” said Mr. Gitari
The decentralized boarding procedures will not only improve the overall airport passenger experience at Wilson Airport, but will also give passengers using the airport a greater space for social distancing and hence facilitate safer travel.
Some of the measures put in place at Kenyan airports to minimize the spread of Covid-19 virus include; installation of thermal screening equipment, provision of handwashing and sanitization stations, provision of Port Health observation rooms and mounting of physical distancing markers.
“We have also provided frontline staff with personal protective equipment including masks, gloves and disinfectants in sufficient quantities. Further, we continue to sensitize and communicate to all our staff on Covid-19 preventive measures,” he added.
He observed that the aviation industry is a big catalyst for other key sectors in the country, such as tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture which contribute billions of shillings to the Kenyan economy.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a