Kenya Airways on Friday announced the temporary suspension of flights to France and the Netherlands due to new COVID-19 regulations that have been imposed in the European nations.
Through a statement issued in Nairobi, the Airline management said that the short term halt of services affects flights to France – Charles de Gaulle Airport and the Netherlands – Schiphol Airport through the month of February.
“The temporary suspension is due to the new COVID-19 regulations in Europe that have resulted in depressed demand,” the airline said.
According to officials, the national flag carrier expects to resume regular services to France on March 3 and to the Netherlands on March 7.
A member of the Sky Team Alliance, Kenya Airways currently flies to 46 destinations worldwide, 33 of which are in Africa.
The suspension will however last till March 3, 2021 for the route to Charles de Gaulle airport Paris, France and Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands till March 7, 2021.
The suspension comes as the airline continues to grapple with tricky international operations as the evolving COVID-19 pandemic continues to pin down passenger demand.
“Europe has been quite a struggle particularly Amsterdam and Paris as the market sees a resurgence of COVID-19. We have however seen high demand to China and India. We do however have a number of restrictions including the number of seats and flight frequencies which we can deploy to destinations such as India and Bangkok,” Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka told Citizen Digital in an interview last week.
The airline has had no choice but to rely on its cargo business to stay a float with KQ now mulling the full deployment of part of its Dreamliner fleet for freight operations.
At the end of last year, the company issued a warning indicating passenger demand will remain subdued in the near-term owing to complexities created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Demand for air travel is still a fraction of the 2019 numbers and it is projected to stay suppressed for at least the next 12 months,” KQ announced in a November business performance update.