Kenya Airways says to resume flights to Kinshasa after staff freed | World News - Hindustan Times
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Kenya Airways says to resume flights to Kinshasa after staff freed

AFP |
May 07, 2024 01:45 AM IST

Kenya Airways says to resume flights to Kinshasa after staff freed

Kenya Airways said on Monday it will resume flights to Kinshasa after military authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo released two of its employees who were detained last month.

Kenya Airways says to resume flights to Kinshasa after staff freed
Kenya Airways says to resume flights to Kinshasa after staff freed

The arrest of the staff was described as "unlawful" by the airline , which had announced on April 29 that it would be suspending flights to the DRC capital.

"Kenya Airways confirms that military authorities have unconditionally released our two employees who had been detained since 19 April 2024," Kenya's flag carrier said in a statement.

"With the necessary ground support in place, we are pleased to announce that Kenya Airways will resume flights to Kinshasa on 8 May 2024."

Earlier, the Kenyan government had announced the release of one of the employees.

"Deeply grateful to inform that Lydia Mbotela, KQ Manager in DRC, has just been released by the authorities in Kinshasa," Korir Sing'oei, Kenya's principal secretary for foreign affairs, said on X, formerly Twitter.

The two employees, who work at the airline's office in Kinshasa, were arrested on April 19 by a military intelligence unit, according to Kenya Airways.

The airline had described it as an "unlawful detention" and as "harassment targeting Kenya Airways' business", while the head of a powerful parliamentary committee called it a breach of diplomatic rules.

Kenya Airways said the employees were held allegedly because of "missing custom documentation on valuable cargo".

The DRC government has not commented on the allegations.

But the airline's CEO Allan Kilavuka had said the cargo, whose contents were not specified, had not been accepted by KQ because of incomplete documentation.

This cargo "was still in the baggage section being cleared by customs when the security team arrived and alleged that KQ was transporting goods without customs clearance".

"All efforts to explain to the military officers that KQ had not accepted the cargo because of incomplete documentation proved futile."

The airline said its employees were held incommunicado in a military facility until April 23, when embassy officials and a KQ team were allowed to visit them.

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This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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