Confidence among people flying for leisure and business in Kenya and across the globe is slowly growing, one of the leading regional airlines, Bluebird aviation has said.
According to the airline’s General Manager Captain Hussein Mohammed confidence in travellers to be able to fly and the feeling that ones health is not going to be affected and that they are not fearful of COVID-19 is growing but at a slow pace.
In a press release sent to newsrooms, Captain Mohammed noted that the confidence is improving, though slowly and laboriously.
“Initially I had thought that by the end of this year, that improvement would have increased significantly, but with what is going on in places like India, and low vaccination numbers in our country and limited availability and accessibility of vaccines has impacted on the growing confidence to fly again,” noted Captain Hussein Mohammed.
According to a report by the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), African airlines lost $10.21 (about Sh1.1 trillion) in passenger revenue in 2020 when the travel industry was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report indicates that the number of scheduled passengers carried by African airlines fell by 63.7 per cent from 95 million in 2019 to 34.7 million in 2020.
Captain Mohammed projects that it will take about the end of 2022 for most travellers to regain the confidence to fly again and when a larger population would have gotten at least the first dose of the vaccines which is protective enough and 100 per cent against hospitalisation and at least 90 per cent against severe form of COVID-19.
However, the captain notes that one will need to get the second dose to feel fully protected.