Despite initially being coy about the reason behind the postponing of the inaugural direct flight to Somalia, national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) on Friday revealed that the airline had not met some requirements stipulated by the Somalia Aviation Authority.
According to Kenya Airways Chief Executive Sebastian Mikosz, the inaugural direct flight to Somalia; scheduled for November 15, 2018, had to be postponed to December 15, 2018, because the carrier had not met additional insurance demands brought forth by the SAA.
Though the KQ CEO did not go into specifics, he had this to say:
“The additional requirements relate to insurances that the airline has to get for aircraft flying on this route. Approval process is what has delayed a bit and we expect to finalize this process within the shortest time possible,” the KQ CEO is quoted as saying by the Business Daily.
In the new route, flights were scheduled to leave the JKIA and fly directly to Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport. Typically, a one way ticket was set to cost Ksh 22,000 while a round trip would set back customers Ksh. 42000.
It was estimated that upon departure at 7: 40 am EAT the KQ carriers would take approximately 2.25 hours to fly to Somalia, 55 minutes at Adden Adde airport and 2.25 hours to fly back to Nairobi.
The revelation comes barely two days after the airline reduced the number of direct flights to the US citing a low demand of direct flights to New York that was blamed on the winter season being experienced in America.
So far, the airline has rescheduled a number of flights to the US that were planned to take place between November 2018 and March 2019. The airline further confirmed the rescheduling of ten flights programmed to take off between November 5, 2018 and December 5, 2018. However, normal services are expected to resume after the conclusion of the US winter Season in March 2019.
The direct flights to Somalia and New York were launched to give Kenya increased access to the Horn of Africa and large US economy respectively in a move expected to bolster trade and tourism between Kenya and the two nations.