East African airlines suspend China flights due to coronavirus

0
543

NAIROBI/KIGALI (Reuters) – Kenya Airways and RwandAir said on Friday that they had suspended all flights to and from China until further notice afteAuthorities in Kenya have sent samples from a person suspected of having the new coronavirus to South Africa for further tests. The patient is isolated in a Nairobi hospital having arrived on Tuesday on a Kenya Airways flight from Guangzhou in Southern China.

“We have temporarily suspended all flights to and from Guangzhou starting Friday until further notice,” the airline said in a statement.

The World Health Organization on Thursday declared a global emergency as the virus spread to more countries. [L8N29Z82Q]

Air transport links between Africa and China have boomed in the past 20 years, in tandem with the growth of trade, social, economic, political and cultural ties between the continent and the Asian giant.

Kenya Airways, which operates one flight daily to Guangzhou via Bangkok, joins other airlines around the world that have stopped flying to the world’s second-largest economy as it deals with the outbreak that has infected at least 8,000 people.

Flights to Bangkok will continue, Kenya Airways said.

RwandAir has also suspended flights to Guangzhou, the airline said on Friday, adding that the decision would be reviewed in February.

On Thursday, Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest carrier, denied reports that it would suspend flights to the Asian country after its call centre told Reuters that flights were cancelled.

Air Tanzania, which was poised to start maiden flights from Dar es Salaam to China in February, said on Wednesday it had postponed the plan, citing concerns over the spread of the virus.

Kenya Airways did not respond to queries about the share of its revenue that comes from the China flights.

Reporting by Omar Mohammed in Nairobi and Clement Uwiringiyinana in Kigali; Editing by Duncan Miriri, Kirsten Donovan
r a virus outbreak killed more than 200 people in China and spread to 18 countries.

SHARE
Previous articleOPEC January oil output plunges on new cuts, Libyan unrest
Next articleEthiopia passes new investment law in bid to reform economy
Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.