Dubai suspends flights from Kenya for 48 hours

Dubai International Airport

Health workers check passengers arriving at Dubai International Airport.  Dubai on December 20, 2021 suspended for 48 hours all inbound and transit passenger flights to the Emirate of Dubai from any point in the Republic of Kenya.

Photo credit: Karim Sahib | AFP

The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) on Monday suspended for 48 hours all inbound and transit passenger flights to the Emirate of Dubai from any point in the Republic of Kenya.

However, outbound passenger operations from Dubai to Nairobi remain unaffected.

No particular reason has been given for the flights suspension which started at 10.30am Monday.

The suspension comes a day after DCAA issued stringent conditions for travellers from East Africa to Dubai.

On Saturday, Dubai, through its Covid-19 Command and Control Centre (CCC), put travellers from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon, and Chad under new measures as it sought to control the spread of Covid-19.

The National Authority for Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management (NCEMA) and the General Civil Aviation Authority introduced new travel requirements for those coming on direct flights from Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

Under the new measures by Dubai, travellers from Africa will now be required to provide a report on rapid PCR test conducted at the departure airport six hours before leaving for Dubai.

This is in addition to a negative Covid-19 test certificate issued within 48 hours of arrival in Dubai.

The new rules, which apply to both passengers terminating their journey and those transiting through Dubai, are expected to affect Africans, most of whom prefer Dubai as a transit point, due to its interconnectivity and the lower fares charged by its national carrier, Emirates Airlines.

The new measures will also see passengers, including those in transit, undergo a PCR test upon arrival in Dubai and self-quarantine until a negative test result is out.

Dubai-based airline Emirates has announced a fresh flight suspension on Monday.

A statement on the carrier's website said that as per directives from the DCAA, all air transport services to Dubai from Kenya will be temporarily suspended for 48 hours starting December 20.

“As per directive from Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, all air transport services with inbound and transit passenger movements to the emirate of Dubai from any point in the Republic of Kenya are temporarily suspended for 48 hours effective from December 20, 2021 at 10.30am (local time). Customers will not be accepted for travel on Emirates flights at Nairobi during this time. Outbound passenger operations from Dubai to Nairobi remain unaffected,” it said.

Affected customers do not need to call immediately for rebooking, but can instead hold on to their ticket for when flights resume.

DCAA called on all travellers affected by the decision to follow up and communicate with the airlines to amend and schedule their flights and to ensure their safe return to their final destinations without any delay or other obligations.

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