The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) this week hosted Qatar Airways in an Industry Meeting with KATA members in attendance.
The online meeting that was hosted by KATA Chief Executive Officer Agnes Mucuha had on its panel the KATA Chairman Mr. Mohammed Wanyoike and Qatar Airways Country Manager Fadi Zuraikat.
Mr. Zuraikat, during his presentation explained to KATA members that the airline is currently operating over 150 flights per week to over 33 destinations globally.
“In total, by the end of June, we plan to operate 28 flights to 6 destinations in Africa,” he said. Subject to the government’s opening up international flights, Qatar Airways plans to resume one flight to Doha in June which will increase to two in July then three in October 2020.
Qatar Airways further informed members that tickets already bought will have a validity period of two years and can be swapped for miles to be spent at traveller’s convenience.
Tickets will be refunded in case of a cancelled flight and there is also the option for exchanging the ticket for future travel with 10 percent additional value. The ticket can also have its date and destination changed unlimitedly. All this is however for travel booked up to December 31, 2020.
He assured members of the safety of their clients once international travel resumes, saying that the airline has put up measures of international standards that will ensure a clean and secure space for travel infection free.
Mr Wanyoike noted that it is encouraging that airlines have already made plans to actively resume business once travel restrictions are lifted. He pointed out that with the market opening up in the rest of the world, it will also open up in Africa and businesses can resume generating revenue.
“Life has been hard for the travel trade since we shut down our businesses in March and sent our staff home on unpaid leave. This conversation has given our members hope,” he said.
United Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA), the airlines and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), he further said, are developing protocols on the minimum standards that need to be enforced to ensure safety of travellers globally.
Once travel resumes, travellers are encouraged to book their travel with a trusted and certified KATA agent to ensure that they are fully appraised of all necessities and requirements for safe travel.