Kenya has suspended all inbound and transit passenger flights from the United Arabs Emirates for seven days.
The ban is a retaliatory move following Dubai’s ban of all passenger flights from Kenya last week over what it termed as fake COVID-19 tests.
“Inbound and transit passenger flights from UAE are suspended for a period of seven days. We are doing this to reciprocate a ban on Kenyan passenger flights to UAE,” Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said.
However, the ban will not affect cargo flights that are normally flown by carriers such as Kenya Airways and Emirates airline from UEA into Kenya which are expected to continue with the normal daily operations.
The ban comes barely a few days after UAE extended Kenya flight ban after it established that travelers from Nairobi were testing positive for Covid-19 after arrival in the Middle East nation, despite carrying negative test results from Kenya.
KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe told the Business Daily that the scheme involved a racket of private medical testing centers that colluded with travelers to issue fake Covid-19 PCR results to aid their travel to Dubai.
The Ministry of Health has already launched investigations on the matter with a view to bringing to book health officials who were involved in the shoddy deal that has now coasted Kenya millions of shillings in lost passenger revenues.
The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) announced a 48-hour suspension on all flights from Kenya to the Middle East nation on December 20, 2021 and on December 29, 2021, Emirates Airline extended the suspension of flights from Kenya to comply with the directive that was to end on December 24 till further notice.
The national carrier (KQ) said it would refund passengers who had booked tickets for travel within the suspension period and allow travelers to rebook when flights resume.