Kenya Airways planes are seen parked at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport near Nairobi, Kenya on March 6, 2019. PHOTO | THOMAS MUKOYA | REUTERS Kenya Airways on Thursday suspended flights on its Rome-Geneva route in response to developments following the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement, the national carrier said the suspension was effective March 13 to April 30.
"We will rebook [customers] on alternative flights, extend a full refund to those who would like to cancel their travel or waive booking fees for those willing to reschedule their flights," KQ said.
It said it will continue operating its other flights, sometimes with adjustments.
Kenya Airways noted that it continues to take measures to ensure utmost hygiene and that passengers’ and employees’ security remains a top priority.
It said it had activated its crisis management protocol to address situations that may arise.
"We continue our engagement with relevant ministries and government agencies in Kenya and across our network and will provide affected customers with updated information in a timely manner," the airline said.
Rome is the capital of Italy, where travel was restricted from Tuesday and public gatherings forbidden, as the government placed the whole peninsula on lockdown to fight the spread of the Covid-19 disease.
Marriages and funerals were banned for more than three weeks under the quarantine and bars and restaurants were told to close at 6pm, with the prime minister urging people to "stay at home".
Italy has become Europe’s hardest-hit country and has seen a rapid rise in cases to more than 9,000, with more than 400 deaths so far.Earlier in March, the government suspended direct flights from northern Italy over the outbreak.Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said his team halted flights specifically from Verona and Milan to the Kenyan coast, after consultations with the Italian Embassy in Kenya and other stakeholders.Kilifi, Malindi and Watamu are tourist destinations popular with Italians. Additional reporting by AFP