Kenya has suspended all inbound and transit passenger flights from the United Arabs Emirates for seven days effective January 10th, for an initial period of seven days. The suspension will however not affect cargo flights which will continue with normal operations. Likewise, outbound passenger operations from Dubai to Nairobi remain unaffected.

“Inbound and transit passenger flights from UAE are suspended for a period of seven days. We are doing this to reciprocate a ban on Kenyan passenger flights to UAE,” Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said.

Last year, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) temporarily suspended all air transport services with inbound and transit passenger movements from Kenya. DCAA said customers will not be accepted for travel on Emirates flights in Nairobi during this time. The Authority however did not give a clear reason for the suspension of the flights.

However, the KCAA later revealed that Dubai banned all inbound and transit passenger flights from Kenya because of fake COVID-19 negative certificates. The regulator established that travellers from Nairobi were testing positive for COVID-19 after arrival in Dubai, despite carrying negative test results.

KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe stated that the scheme involved a chain of corrupt officials from the Ministry of Health who colluded with travellers to issue fake COVID-19 PCR results to facilitate travel to Dubai. The Ministry of Health has however launched a probe on the matter, with a view to punish health officials who were involved in the shoddy deal that has cost Kenya millions of shillings in lost passenger revenues.