Published On: Thu, Jul 23rd, 2015

Kenya Airways cancels flights

JETThe shadows of Air Force One, due to swoop into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Friday evening, are growing longer and longer, and much of the coverage, besides the inevitable jubilations, are now dedicated to the traffic disruptions the Obama visit is going to cause during his three days in Kenya.

Kenya Airways, almost predictably, is the first of the airlines operating in and out of JKIA, going on record with notices of departure and arrival changes and anticipated delays caused at JKIA due to the airport closure which was announced via a NOTAM two days ago.

Kenya Airways expects some disruptions to its flight schedule during this time and will endeavor it remains at minimum. Some flights departing or arriving during the closure time have been re-scheduled as per the below chart.

The affected flights have been named as follows:

Friday, July 24, 2015 Flights

Arrival flights:
Flight no. Adjusted time (mins) Status Affected Station
KQ532/533 60 Delayed NBO
KQ670/671 40 Early departure NBO
KQ415 65 Delayed EBB
KQ113 60 Delayed CDG
KQ586 60 Delayed NBO
KQ726 30 Delayed NBO
KQ257 30 Delayed TNR

Departure flights:
Flight no. Adjusted time (mins) Status Affected Station
KQ310 15 Early departure NBO
KQ870 40 Delayed NBO
KQ720 50 Delayed NBO

Sunday, July 26, 2015 Flights

Arrival flights:
Flight no. Adjusted time (mins) Status Affected Station
KQ608/609 20 Early departure NBO
KQ265 20 Delayed HAH
Departure flights
Flight no. Adjusted time (mins) Status Affected Station
KQ670 30 Delayed NBO

It is also expected that there will be road closures around Nairobi and particularly Mombasa Road. This will affect those trying to reach JKIA for their flights. It is requested that all guests on scheduled flights on the two days plan their journeys to the airport well in advance and allow for additional travel time to JKIA.

Travel agents with clients traveling out of the country or due to leave from Nairobi for domestic destinations in Mombasa, Malindi, Eldoret, and Kisumu have already alerted them to the urgent need to leave several hours ahead for the international airport to avoid being stopped, finding roads closed, or being denied access into the airport in the final hours prior to the arrival of the US President. Local police communiques have confirmed that Waiyaki Way, Uhuru Highway, and Mombasa Road will be closed on Friday from 1400 hours onwards, which means that if passengers are to leave in the evening, they should be at the airport at that time already or else risk missing their flight.

“Frankly speaking, what we told our clients is to travel on another day if they can but not Friday or Sunday. This is most important if flight schedules coincide with the announced airport closures. The main road to JKIA will be off limits from 2 pm, and our clients must either arrive there at noon and spend their time waiting in the passenger lounges or else fly another day. Even tour groups departing that Friday and Sunday have been told about it, and their last day itineraries will need adjusting. Combined with the runway closures from midnight to six in the morning for repairs, this will put a lot of stress on JKIA. I know everyone sounds happy that Obama is finally coming to Kenya, but believe me, we will all be equally happy to see him go home and things return to normal again. But as you never tired to point out, we sold a lot of packages to the coast to people who rather took some leave days instead of being caught up in what will be horrendous traffic in Nairobi. Many others have booked for a long weekend in Naivasha, Nanyuki, or the national parks. The Obama visit is great for domestic tourism and #TembeaKenya will benefit from it.”

Indeed, the visit has both up sides and down sides, but from feedback received, a good number of readers would rather watch news updates and live transmissions from a television set at a beach resort or an upcountry hotel than listen to the news on their car radio, stuck in bumper-to-bumper standing traffic.