17 May 2012
VIRGIN ATLANTIC WILL CEASE FLIGHTS TO KENYA. BRANSON MAKES STATEMEMT
Virgin Atlantic is to cease all flights between London and Kenya from 24th September, cutting a service that has been running for the last five years.Sir Richard Branson, president of the airline, said" falling passenger numbers and rising fuel costs were to blame"
Customers who have already booked flights are being assured they will be able to get a full refund, or move to a different carrier after September of this year.
He said: ‘A combination of record fuel prices, higher and higher taxes imposed by the Government and a poorly timed slot not providing connections from London, have made it uneconomical to fly from Nairobi. Governments must be more realistic about the aviation taxes they impose and we urgently need to increase capacity at Heathrow. Since the service launched in 2007, fuel costs have increased by more than 50 per cent, the airline said, with Air Passenger Duty (APD) rising by more than 100 per cent over five years.
Virgin Atlantic will continue to fly passengers to and from Nairobi over the coming months, but its last flight to Kenya will be on September 23
Branson added: 'Virgin Atlantic is extremely sad to be withdrawing from Kenya..Virgin remains committed to the future of Kenya and it is a well known fact that I love the country and its people. For the past five years our team in Nairobi have worked incredibly hard and we hope to return should the economic situation change.'