By Fauxile Kibet
The inaugural direct flight by Kenya airways (KQ) from Nairobi to Mogadishu failed to take off as planned after Somalia demanded additional insurance from the Kenyan national carrier.
According to KQ Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Mikosz, the Somalia flight will not take off until the airline “meets Somalia Aviation Authority’s insurance requirements.”
The official said that the new requirements has now forced the Kenyan carrier to postpone to December 5 the inaugural journey from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport.
Initially, the flight was supposed to take off last Thursday, November 14th, a move that was expected to boost commercial ties with the Horn of Africa nation.
Mr Mikosz however did not disclose the additional insurance requirements or how different they are to what is already needed to fly to Somalia.
“The additional requirements relate to insurances that the airline has to get for aircraft flying on this route. Approval process is what has delayed a bit and we expect to finalise this process within the shortest time possible,” he said.
Tickets for the Nairobi-Mogadishu route are priced at Sh42,000 ($403) for a round trip and Sh22,000 ($218) one way.
The postponement of the Mogadishu flight comes a few days after the national carrier cut back the number of flights on the recently launched Nairobi-New York route citing low demand during the winter season.
The airline said it had already cancelled 10 scheduled flights on the New York route for the period beginning November 5 to December 5, adding that more flights are likely to be affected before the end of the winter season in March 2019.