Regional airline Bluebird Aviation has expressed optimism of more people flying for leisure and business in Kenya and across the globe.
Bluebird Aviation General Manager Captain Hussein Mohammed speaking on the growth said travellers’ confidence to fly is slowly increasing but at a slow pace.
“Confidence is improving albeit slowly and laboriously, but eventually we will get there,” said Captain Mohammed.
He added, “initially I had thought that by the end of this year, the sector would have improved significantly, but with what is going on in places like India, and with low vaccination numbers in our country and limited availability, the accessibility of vaccines has impacted the growing confidence to fly again.”
A report by the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) indicates that African airlines have so far lost approximately Ksh 1.1 trillion, (about $10.21), in passenger revenue.
These statistics by AFRAA were taken in 2020 when the travel industry was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the report, the number of scheduled passengers carried by African airlines fell by 63.7 per cent from Ksh 95 million in 2019 to Ksh 34.7 million in 2020.
“For most travellers to regain the confidence to fly again, it will be around the end of 2022 when a larger population is expected to have gotten at least the first dose of the vaccines,” said Captain Mohammed.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), vaccination protects you from getting seriously ill and dying from COVID-19. For the first fourteen days after getting a vaccination, you do not have significant levels of protection, then it increases gradually.
For a single-dose vaccine, immunity will generally occur two weeks after vaccination.
For two-dose vaccines, both doses are needed to achieve the highest level of immunity possible.
By Beth Nyaga