Kenya Airways has registered losses amounting to $8m for almost a month since the airline stopped flying to China. This is all because of the impact that the coronavirus is having on travels and which has implied on different economic aspects.
Seeing as China has registered the highest number of coronavirus cases and it is ground zero for the virus, countries have put travel bans on people flying and from China and Kenya was one of those.
Before the outbreak, Kenya’s flag carrier used to fly to the industrial hub of Guangzhou three times a week. Acting company chief executive Allan Kilavuka told the East African that the losses include foregone passenger and cargo revenue.
Meanwhile, the government has since last week banned traffic to and from China over the outbreak. President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered in a directive among others that a task force should be put in place to coordinate the country’s response.
The task force on Tuesday also imposed a ban on flights from northern Italy, specifically from Verona and Milan. It said the measure was because of the spike in cases in the area. Currently, Italy has registered over 79 deaths as the virus continues to spread widely in the country.
Kenya Airways is one of the airlines that is being affected by Coronavirus travel bans
Flights from the area are suspended as of March 3rd, 2020, a statement read. “This part of Italy is currently experiencing coronavirus incidents which could affect the safety of Kenyans,” the statement added. Kenya’s coastal town of Malindi is popular with Italians, a journalist with South Africa’s SABC noted on Twitter.
The International Air Travel Association, IATA, said overall African carriers risked losing about $400m from China operations alone citing conservative estimates as of mid-February 2020. But for Kenya Airlines, the losses are a big blow for the already troubled outfit.
A takeover by the state is due to happen in May with lawmakers having approved the nationalization of KQ to save it from mismanagement and mounting debt.
Globally, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts the aviation industry will lose $29 billion worth of passenger revenues this year.
The Ethiopian airlines is the only significant African carrier which has maintained flights to China, where the coronavirus has killed over 2,000 and infected over 75,000.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.