It somehow came as a shocker to the East African travel industry when the Royal Dutch Airlines disrupted some its flights to four airports in Kenya and Tanzania, citing ‘civil unrest!’
The decision being taken by KLM which is currently the most reliable European Carrier feeding the East African Destinations caused confusion among local travel agents and tour operators.
The airline hits where it hurts the industry most, all the four affected airports are important tourists’ destinations in East Africa. They will be on flights’ blackout between January 27 and January 30, 2030.
And the duration can even be extended pending other travel advisories, should they come up again.
The affected terminals include, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport of Nairobi, which feeds all the Kenyan destinations and parts of Northern Tanzania.
There is Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), which is the tourist portal from the Northern Tourism Circuit of Tanzania, comprising of Tarangire, Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.
The Zanzibar Airport serving the islands of Unguja, Pemba and surrounding islets also suffer the flights freezing alongside Julius Kambarage Nyerere International Airport of Dar-es-salaam catering for the coastal strip.
Authorities in both Kenya and Tanzania, have also been expressing surprise that the term ‘unrest,’ is being applied alongside KLM flights’ cancellations statement.
This is because Nairobi and Dar-es-salaam cities as well as other upcountry destinations in East Africa have been quite serene and extremely peaceful to an extent of becoming boring for the last couple of years.
Tanzania & Kenya – Civil Unrest
That is the headline towering above the KLM statement on the airline’s website.
Due to civil unrest in Tanzania and Kenya from Friday 27 January up to and including Monday, January 30, 2023, some of our flights to, from or via Dar-es-salaam (DAR), Kilimanjaro (JRO), Zanzibar (ZNZ) and Nairobi (NBO) may be disrupted.The statement from KLM
Previously the Embassy of the United States (US) in Dar-es-salaam, had issued a travel advisory warning of possible terrorists’ attacks in major cities of Tanzania and surrounding precincts.
Observers believe that the KLM decision might have been based on the US Embassy statement.
We have been trying to contact the Royal Dutch Airlines in order to get more explanations regarding their decisions.