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Kenya,India seals emergency flights deal

By Susan Njire

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India has approved Kenya’s request for special landing rights for emergency aircraft during the covid-19 pandemic season.

The arrangement announced on Wednesday means both countries have agreed to allow each other’s aircraft to land even when their respective airspaces are closed.

India’s civil aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday that the Asian country has signed similar bilateral arrangements with 15 other countries to specifically allow flights in and out of their territories in a quid-pro-quo understanding.

“Inorder to further boost bilateral international air connectivity,air bubble arrangements are now in place with Kenya and Bhutan.Indian Carriers will be able to operate to these countries and carriers of these countries will be able to fly to India,” Mr Puri said.

The countries include Kenya, Australia, Italy, Japan,NewZealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

This comes a month after Kenya’s High Commissiner to India Willy Bett revealed that he had proposed special unrestricted flights especially those bringing in emergency cases.

With India being on lockdown since March, the airspace has been closed and only repatriation flights have been allowed in under special circumstances.

Kenya Airways has already airlifted about 2,000 Kenyans stranded in India under a special permission from New Delhi.

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