Somalia learnt of Kenya flight ban from media, minister says

Wednesday May 12 2021

A plane takes off from the Aden Abdulle International Airport in the Somali capital Mogadishu. PHOTO | AFP


Somalia will issue an appropriate reaction to Kenya’s suspension of flights between the two countries, at an opportune time, minister says.

Duran Farah, Somali Minister for Air Transportation, on Tuesday said his government had only learnt of the decision in press reports, as Kenya has not officially informed Somalia.

“We have only learnt the flight suspensions through the social media,” he told journalists.

“The Somali government will state an appropriate response to that matter.”

The minister was reacting to reports that Kenya has suspended all flights to and from Somalia from May 11 to August 9.

Via a notice to airmen (Notam), filed by the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) on Tuesday, Kenya suspended all flights with Somalia, indicating that exceptions will be made to those assisting in medical and humanitarian needs.


Kenya’s decision came a day after Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) issued a statement that flights transporting khat (commonly known as miraa) remain suspended after Somalia maintained that it had not lifted the ban on khat from Kenya. This is despite Somalia agreeing, two days earlier, to restore diplomatic relations with Kenya that it had suspended in December 2020.

Minister Farah dismissed any correlation between Somalia’s suspension of Kenyan khat and Nairobi’s suspension of flights to and from Mogadishu.

“The issue of khat is a trade subject that needs discussions between the two governments, but the commercial flights mainly concern movement of people and goods to both sides,” he said.