National carrier Kenya Airways has resumed passenger flights to Mumbai, India after a 4-month hiatus occasioned by a spike in Covid-19 cases in the region.
Passenger flights between Nairobi and Mumbai were suspended by the carrier on April 30, 2021 as the government stepped up travel restrictions on India following the surge.
The first flight on resumption is expected to depart Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 7am on September 16, 2021 to arrive in Mumbai at 3:45pm. A one-way ticket on the route will cost $419 (Ksh46,000) for economy class seats.
The normal schedule officially resumes on September 20, 2021. KQ will fly to Mumbai three times a week.
Options for passengers who had booked tickets after May 1, the date of KQ’s last flight from Mumbai to Nairobi, include taking vouchers for the value of their fare for future travel within 12 months.
The resumption of the flight is welcome news for the struggling national carrier, whose multi billion-shilling losses in the last decade have come under even greater security thanks to the detrimental impact of the pandemic on the global aviation industry.
Many Kenyans and their loved ones travel to India every year to access specialized medical treatment. A sizeable number also travel for education and business.
Kenya’s travel ban on India had been cited as having a “serious effect” on medical tourism by publications including DW. Several other countries have maintained travel bans on India including France, the U.K and Oman.
Notably, India has in recent days witnessed a surge in Covid-19 cases following the discovery of a new variant.
As of September 14, India had recorded more than 33.3 million total cases of the virus, and over 443,000 deaths.