Kenya suspends flights to and from Somalia for three months


Kenya suspended all flights to neighbouring Somalia, with the exception of humanitarian deliveries and medical evacuation flights, according to a notice by the aviation regulator, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

A photo of Kenya’s main international airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Nairobi. PHOTO/AFP

The KCAA issued a Notice to Airmen (Notam) saying the suspension took effect on May 11 (Tuesday) and runs until August 9.

Regional publication The East African reported that the KCAA did not give any explanation for the suspension but hinted that there had been a security directive from the government to restrict air traffic between the two countries.

Other exemptions to the ban are flights from Somalia transiting through the Kenyan airspace to another country and military flights, which are not within the control of the KCAA.

The announcement comes less than a week after Somalia said it was restoring diplomatic relations with Kenya, close to six months after severing ties over Kenya’s alleged interference in Somali politics.

Relations between the countries have also been strained over the disputed ownership of potential oil and gas deposits, some of which lie off the coast of Jubbaland, one of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous states.