Kenya Airways will now fly daily to India after the Asian country lifted the restrictions that had limited the national carrier to three flights a week, coming as a major boost to the airline that is struggling financially.
KQ, as the carrier is known by its international code, has been operating flights to India under a special arrangement normally referred to as ‘air bubble’ in aviation and which also limited the number of passengers to 400 a week.
The carrier, which resumed flights to India in September last year after it had stopped flying to the Asian country on April 2021, will also be making ten weekly flights to India starting April, coming as a major relief to passengers seeking to travel to the country.
“We are excited and ready for take-off to Mumbai with daily flights from March 28, 2022, and ten weekly flights from April, 17,” said KQ in a notice to its customers.
India has now opened its airspace to the national carrier as cases of Covid-19 in the country continue to decline.
The additional frequencies to Mumbai come just days after KQ cut frequencies to some of its destinations and stopped the launch of new routes citing declining demand for passengers.
A large number of patients from Kenya travel to India every year for specialised medical treatment, especially cancer care, helping to drive medical tourism in the densely populated country that boasts relatively more affordable healthcare.
Kenya Airways has postponed the launch of flights to Italy even as it suspended its operations to Cameroon due to low demand for passengers.
The national carrier was to start flying to Rome and Milan in June but it says the plans have been put on hold due to lower demand than it had earlier projected.
According to the initial schedule, KQ was to operate two weekly flights on Wednesday and Sunday using a large capacity aircraft Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
KQ re-introduced flights to Rome in 2019 after a seven-year hiatus, banking on increased traffic between the two continents and a new link in Geneva to boost its earnings.