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KQ suspends flights to Italy over coronavirus pandemic, Kenyans demand more

Kenya Airways has suspended flights on the Rome-Geneva route effective from Friday, March 13 to April 30, 2020 as Italy continues to bear the brunt of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The airline said, in a statement, that this is a response to the current fast spreading coronavirus across the world.

However, all other flights by KQ will operate as normal with scheduled adjustment on some flights, even as many countries in europe and America are suspending flights to most international destinations over the virus outbreak.

“In response to the latest developments in the Covid-19 outbreak around the world, Kenya Airways has suspended its flights o the Rome-Geneva route effectively Friday 13 March 2020 until 30 April 2020. We have also activated our crisis management protocol to proactively address situations as they arise and implement appropriate actions,” read part of the statement.

“We continue our engagement with the relevant ministries and government agencies in Kenya and across our network and will provide affected customers with updated information in a timely manner.”

The national carrier added that those affected by the suspension will be rebooked on alternative flights, including a full refund of fares to those who will opt to cancel their travel altogether.

“For all our customers who have been affected by the suspension, we will rebook them on alternative flights, extend a full refund to those who would like to cancel their travel or waiver booking fees for those willing to reschedule their flights with us to a later date. We sincerely apologise to all our customers for the inconvenience caused,” continued the statement by KQ.

But Kenyans on social media criticised KQ for allowing a flight to Nairobi from Rome in Italy, which is on a total lockdown as the number of those affected by the coronavirus and the death toll soars, demanding drastic measures.

Irked Kenyans shared screenshots of data from flight tracking website Flightradar, showing KQA128 plane that left Rome was destined to land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 7:05pm on Thursday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday declared the novel Coronavirus (christened Covid-19) a pandemic as more countries continue to take drastic steps to contain the spread of the new virus.

WHO said the decision was occasioned by how fast the virus is spreading with more than 118,000 cases of the coronavirus ailment being reported in more than 110 countries globally and a risk it will spread further globally.