Somalia has revoked the flight licenses of two Kenyan Airlines and banned them from flying into Somalia on the grounds of violating COVID-19 directives.
The two Kenyan airlines, Buff Air Services, and Silverstone Air Services, allegedly ferried consignments of khat to Somalia while disguising them as medical supplies. The consignments arrived in the Somalia towns of Buhodle and Jowhar on 26th May and 31st May 2020, respectively.
The Somali federal government had banned the importation of khat from neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, saying it contributes to the spread of the deadly COVID-19 disease.
On 12th November 2019, Silverstone suspended operations of its Bombardier Dash 8 fleet following an audit from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority that revealed non-compliance problems following multiple incidents involving the airline’s fleet.
In February this year, Kenya’s low-cost carrier, Jambojet, halted its planned flights into Somalia after Somali authorities denied the carrier morning landing slots. Somalia authorities argued that there is high traffic during that time.