Kenya withdraws Somalia flight ban

Passengers embark to Kenya Airways at Adan Adde International Airport in Mogadishu, Somalia on 18 December 2018. This was during a test of Kenya Airways inaugural flight to Mogadishu as part of routine preparations before the formal launch of the flights. AMISOM Photo / Ilyas Ahmed

Kenya has on Thursday officially withdrawn its ban on flights to and from Somalia barely a month after it closed its airspace amid an ongoing diplomatic row .

In a letter dated June 10, the Ministry of Foreign  Affairs said it had taken ‘due consideration of intercessions’ and had decided to reopen its airspace to all flights to and from Somalia.

Kenya noted it hoped that the cancellation of the ban which was to last until August will cause full normalization of relations.

“The government and people of Kenya remain true partners for the peace and prosperity of Somalia and look forward to a renewal of the enduring bonds of friendship and partnership between Kenya and Somalia,” the letter further said.

Covid-19 certificates are required as proof, that one does not have the virus before leaving or entering the country. The certificates have Trusted Travel Initiative codes which are issued upon taking RT PCR Covid-19 test and is verifiable by airlines and Port Health authorities.

Last Month, Kenya suspended all flights to Mogadishu except for emergency medical evacuation and UN flights.

The East Africa said that “all flights between Kenya and Somalia are suspended except medevac flights and United Nations flights on humanitarian missions only,” without saying why it had imposed the measure.

Last December, Somalia severed diplomatic ties with Kenya, accusing Nairobi of interfering in Mogadishu’s internal affairs but last month the horn of Africa nation restored the relationship.