By Getrude Matayo
The government of Kenya has rejected Oman Air requested to repatriate Kenyans stranded in India amid the Covid-19 travel restriction.
Oman Air, through its North India Manager Vineet Nayyar, had sent an appeal to the Kenyan High Commission in New Delhi, asking it to lobby the Indian government to allow the airline to ferry stuck Kenyans home following India’s extension of the ban on international travel.
Kenya’s High court Commissioner to India Willy Bett in a letter addressed to Oman Air Monday said it cannot seek clearance for foreign airlines, arguing it can only act for Kenya Airways.
Willy Bett stated that the mission does not engage with airline agents in dealing with repatriation flights, adding that clearance of special flights is done between government to government.
“The Kenyan High Court Commission is not in a position to seek clearance for a non-Kenyan airline. The Airline agents should stop engaging Kenyan in India with Matters of repatriation as this is a government function,” said Mr. Bett in the letter.
Oman Air suspended operations on the Nairobi route on March 29th, 2020, and is yet to resume after Kenya lifted the ban on international flights from August 1st, 2020.
The carrier started flights between Nairobi and Muscat in March 2017, targeting travelers to and from the Middle East.
The rejection of Oman Air repatriation by the Kenyan government comes months after Indian Air flew to Nairobi with more than 300 Kenyans from India.