EDITORIAL: When the skies reopen on August 1, ultimate caution will be necessary

Rwanda has announced its intentions to reopen Kigali International Airport for passenger flights. Air travel has been the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and it was primarily responsible for the rapid and widespread infections that left no continent untouched.

The suspension of flights has adversely affected airlines and many are in dire straits. In our region, one of the continent’s popular airlines, Kenya Airways (KQ), will count its saints lucky if it swims through its multitude of troubles.


Even before the pandemic, it was sinking now the Coronavirus is hovering above brandishing what could be  the last nail for KQ’s coffin if a solution is not urgently found.


Just last week Kenyan media announced that KQ was laying-off 400 cabin crew and 182 pilots, and until it takes back to the sky, things might get worse.


Rwandair (WB) which is slowly making its presence felt on the continent and in trans-continental flights should be ready to grapple with many safety challenges.

While we can always rely on our local health workers’ dedication to fight the virus, it might not be the case for countries where WB flies and inflight infections are still a great risk. Air Canada this week announced that traces of the virus had been found on some planes after conducting both local and international flights.

But the most worrying thing is feeding in air; in order to ensure contactless as much as possible, food will be hermetically sealed and some airlines will also encourage passengers to carry their own food.

Safety is of essence and Covid-19 has no pity for carelessness, and the Brazilian President who has been downplaying it is just getting to learn. But flying will never be the same again.


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