Tit for tat: Kenya suspends all passenger flights from Dubai

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Kenya on Tuesday reciprocated a ban by Dubai on passenger flights over COVID tests; Courtesy Photo

Kenya has suspended all inbound and transit passenger flights from the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) to retaliate against a move by Dubai to ban all passenger flights from Kenya over fake COVID-19 tests.

Kenyan media -The EastAfrican reported that Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director-General Gilbert Kibe announced that the suspension took effect Monday midnight and will last for a period of seven days.

“Inbound and transit passenger flights from UAE are suspended for a period of seven days. We are doing this to reciprocate a ban on Kenyan passenger flights to UAE,” said Mr Kibe Tuesday.

The ban comes barely a few days after UAE extended Kenya flight ban after it established that travelers from Nairobi were testing positive for COVID-19 after arrival in the Middle East nation, despite carrying negative test results.

The ban does not however affect cargo flights that are normally flown by carriers such as Kenya Airways and Emirates airline from UEA into Kenya.

KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe said the scheme involved a racket of private medical testing centers that colluded with travelers to issue fake COVID-19 PCR results to aid their travel to Dubai.

The Ministry of Health however said it launched a probe on the matter with a view to bringing to book health officials who were involved in the cooked deals that have now costed Kenya millions of shillings in lost passenger revenues.

The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) announced a 48-hour suspension on all flights from Kenya to the Middle East nation on December 20, 2021.

On December 29, 2021, Emirates Airline said that it has, in turn, extended its flights from Kenya suspension to comply with the directive that was to end on December 24 until further notice.

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