Kenya Airways flight from India to cost stranded Kenyans Sh120,000

A Kenya Airways plane lands in Mombasa from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on May 3, 2021.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kenya Airways (KQ) chief executive Allan Kilavuka said flight 7641 will leave Mumbai for Nairobi at 9.30am and touch down at 1.15pm.

Kenyans stranded in India due to the Covid-19 crisis will fly back in a special charter flight on June 10, at a cost of Sh120,000 per person.

In an interview with the Nation on Tuesday, Kenya Airways (KQ) chief executive Allan Kilavuka said flight 7641 will leave Mumbai for Nairobi at 9.30am and touch down at 1.15pm.

“This will be happening on a case by case basis as approved by the government,” he said.

An official KQ advertisement in India states: “KQ will only accept passengers with a negative RT-PCR test report and a QR code for boarding on June 10. No exceptions made.”

India on Tuesday recorded less than 100,000 coronavirus cases for the first time in many months, as per data from the Indian Council of Medical Research, with 40 deaths.

The country has so far reported at least 28,996,949 infections, 351,344 deaths and 27,341,362 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

Ruby Jayne Magati (centre), her mother Linda Bosibori Ogembo and Dr Chirag Shah during a treatment session at Apollo Hospital in India's Ahmedabad City, Gujarati State.

Photo credit: Courtesy

Resources depleted

Before the pandemic struck, KQ charged between Sh31,000 and Sh36,000 for a one-way ticket from India.

In 2020, the national carrier, in a series of about six evacuation trips, charged stranded Kenyans between Sh90,000 and Sh100,000.

Some Kenyan patients stuck in India say they have depleted their resources on treatment and surviving a devastating pandemic.

Some of the more than 57 patients and their caregivers told the Nation they are unable to afford the plane ticket back home.

“The flight is already full … I brought my four-year-old daughter, Ruby Jayne Magati, to this country two months ago for an urgent eye surgery that was very expensive. I am unable to afford tickets back home. My husband too is not in a position to raise money for two tickets,” said Linda Bosibori Magati.

Linda Bosibori Ogembo and her daughter Ruby Jayne Magati, who flew to India in April 2021.
 

Photo credit: Courtesy

Flights ban

In April, Kenya announced a temporary ban on passenger flights to and from India due to a massive surge in coronavirus infections in the south Asian nation.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), in an official note, says that Covid-19 containment measures will apply to flights from India and all passengers originating in India.

“All passenger flights between India and Kenya are suspended. Only Kenyans and Indians who are residents in Kenya are allowed to travel from India to Kenya, provided they possess a Covid-19 PCR negative test result conducted within 96 hours before travel and submit an antigen test on arrival,” KCAA says.

“If the antigen test is negative, travellers shall self-quarantine for 14 days at home and if it is positive, they shall self-isolate in a government facility, while being monitored, for 14 days and at their own cost.”

Flights allowed

Last month, Kenya resolved to allow students, patients and their caregivers who are stuck in India to return to the country.

This came after intense weeklong negotiations between Kenya’s Mission in New Delhi and the Ministry of Health.

Last year in a quid-pro-quo understanding, India approved Kenya’s official request granting special permission that saw Kenyan and Indian national carriers fly passengers to and from the countries, despite lockdowns, until a more lethal Covid-19 variant was confirmed in India.

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