Kenyan high court's decision to suspend flights from China not govt stance: Chinese Embassy

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/3 21:08:41

Children hold a placard "Together we can defeat corona" at the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya, on Feb. 6. (Xinhua/Liu Yimenghan)

The Chinese Embassy in Kenya has not received a notice of temporary suspension of all flights from China, which was a decision made by a local high court on Friday, and relevant Kenyan government officials have stated that the court decision does not represent the government stance over the matter, the embassy told the Global Times in an exclusive email interview on Tuesday. 

Local media reports said that Kenya's High Court on Friday ordered all fights from China to be temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, aiming to bar passengers coming from epidemic hotspots. 

The case also came after complaints over the arrival of a China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province. The plane, carrying 239 passengers, was allowed to arrive at the airport in Kenyan capital Nairobi on February 26, with the health ministry merely advising those on board to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

Commenting on that, the embassy said in the email sent to the Global Times on Tuesday that China Southern Airlines had already halted its direct flights from China to Kenya due to business reasons before the development. And the company's office in Nairobi also did not receive notice of the decision from relevant departments.

China Southern Airlines issued no comment on the incident to the Global Times as of press time.

"On Feb 28 2020, due to the decreasing volume of passengers, China Southern Airlines has made necessary adjustments by suspending flights connecting Guangzhou, Changsha and Nairobi until further notice," the embassy wrote on its official Twitter.

Also, the Global Times learned from the embassy that among the 239 passengers on the flight in question, 223 were Chinese nationals.

"Apart from 13 Chinese nationals who were there in transit, the other 210 Chinese nationals are now under 14-day self-quarantine which is in line with the embassy's requirements. The cabin crew left the country with the plane," it said. 

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