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KQ suspends Sudan flights as political turmoil rages

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KQ suspends Sudan flights as political turmoil rages

A Kenya Airways plane at JKIA in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ has suspended flights between Khartoum and Nairobi following a political upheaval in Sudan that has so far led to 35 deaths.

Kenya Airways Tuesday said the flights had been cancelled as it monitored the situation in Khartoum.

The cancellation, the second one in less than three months, saw passengers who were due to travel to Khartoum yesterday on KQ348 from Nairobi to Sudan and KQ349 from Khartoum to Nairobi frozen.

Kenya Airways is one of the major carriers operating on the Nairobi to Khartoum route, with daily flights except Mondays and Wednesdays.

“Following the uncertain situation at Khartoum International Airport, KQ has suspended flights to and from Khartoum including tonight’s flights: KQ 348 Nairobi-Khartoum and KQ 349 Khartoum-Nairobi.

Latest official statistics indicate that Sudan ordered goods worth Sh6.2 billion from Kenya in the 12 months to December 2017, up from Sh5.3 billion in 2016 mostly tea.

“We are monitoring the situation and will advise when normal operations resume,” said the airline in a public notice.

But the unprecedented political situation in Khartoum is now likely to see the airline which made a net loss of Sh7.55 billion for the year ended December 2018 take a huge hit.

On Tuesday, Sudan’s military leaders said they were scrapping all existing agreements with the main opposition coalition and will hold elections within nine months.

The announcement came as the military faced mounting international condemnation for their violent attack on protesters in the capital, Khartoum, which reportedly left at least 30 dead.

The crackdown came after the military and protesters agreed a three-year transition period to civilian rule.

President Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown by the military in April after months of protests took over power in a 1989.



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