Kenya Airways has introduced three new flights to London following the removal of Kenya from the United Kingdom (UK) red list which regulates countries getting into the European country.
Under the regulations which took effect on October 4, fully vaccinated travelers from Kenya are allowed into the UK without taking COVID-19 tests.
In a statement, the airline noted that beginning October 11, travelers can fly to London and back every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
“With Kenya off U.K.’s Covid-19 red to amber list of countries, we couldn’t be more excited to introduce additional flights. Starting 11th October 2021, you can now fly to London and back every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday,” the airline noted.
The cost for a round trip from Nairobi to London will cost Sh 88,775 while a traveler from the United Kingdom will pay Sh 113,140.
The rate from Mombasa to London is Sh 104,370 while Kisumu to London costs 104,080.
Kenya was removed from the list alongside Bangladesh, Egypt, the Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Turkey.
“We’re making testing easier for travel from Mon 4 Oct, if you’re fully vaccinated you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country and from later in Oct, will be able to replace the day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow,” UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.
Kenya hopes to harness the eased travel regulations to revive the tourism sector which according to a report published in June 2020 had seen massive booking cancellations.
About 64.5 percent of the respondents that took part in the National Tourism Risk and Crisis Management Committee survey reported over 90 percent of cancellations of existing bookings experienced by their organizations.
The organizations also reported total business closure, increased borrowings, and eviction from current premises due to unpaid running costs as other impacts of the pandemic on their businesses.
The report further suggested that the international tourist market was the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic (81.3 percent), followed by the domestic (64.2 percent) and regional tourist markets (38.3 percent).
The report recommended that there was a need for Kenya to expand the domestic market to cushion the destination in times of crisis.