Kenya airways considers to delay resumption of its flights. This is due to the social distancing rules which require some seats to be empty to ensure social distance to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
New Ministry of Trade rules, which were published to guide businesses during the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, require that airlines cut down the number of passengers by almost half for them to meet public health regulations.
This poses a major challenge to the airline as with the reduced number of passengers they will not be able to remain sustainable or generate profits. Kenya Airways also noted that it will be uneconomical for people to travel by flight as ticket prices would have to increase by over 50% for the airline to break even.
Kenya airways said that there has been no scientific proof showing that there is risk of virus transmission as the planes have improved air flow systems. Kenya Airways officials said they had a discussion at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) board level and conducted studies to determine the risk of transmission. They came to the conclusion that the air circulation system reduces risk of contamination because of the hyper-filters.
Both KQ and IATA encourage the use of face masks by the passengers and crew members during their travels as opposed to having empty seats in the plane. Other measures such as pre-flight screening and sanitising of the cabin to be put in place to ensure safety of passengers and the crew.