To cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on operators in the industry, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has given a waiver on parking fees for domestic airlines in the sector.
The waiver is coming as a relief to carriers that are grappling with financial challenges following the grounding of services.
According to businessdailyafrica.com, KAA acting managing director Alex Gitari said they have received approval from the government for the waiver for April-June to help in recovery efforts following Covid-19 pandemic that has paralysed the sector.
The agency has also deferred 75 percent of rent for businesses that operate from airports like duty-free shops for the period April-June to be paid in nine monthly equal instalments effective July.
“We are extending our relief measure to the aviation industry and KAA has secured approval from government to give various forms of reliefs, which include waiver on parking fee and deferment of payment, as we play our part in helping on the recovery,” said Mr Gitari in a Webinar session with Airports Council International.
Kenya Association of Air Operators (KAAO), which is an umbrella body of commercial airlines, had written to KAA requesting a waiver on parking fees as they have not been in business, making it difficult to generate revenue.
KAA had written to the Ministry of Transport in April regarding the request made by the operators.
KAA has also given a waiver of minimum annual guarantees for all concessionaires for the three months. Concession fees applicable to ground handling, duty free, catering services, advertising, car park and others will be based on actual activity.
KAA charges about $10 everyday as parking fee for smaller aircraft but rises to over $100 for larger planes.
The government grounded airlines in April following a restriction in movement in and outside of Nairobi as a measure to curb the spread of coronavirus that has so far affected more than 4,000 people since it was first reported in March.
Airlines in Kenya have to either start or terminate their journey in Nairobi and with the restrictions on movement, it means they could not conduct any business.
Duty-free shops at the airport had also requested a waiver given that they rely on passengers as main clientele. Kenya closed its airspace to passenger flights in March, only allowing the cargo aircraft to operate.
Paralysis in aviation has seen airlines send home staff on paid or unpaid leave to cope with the situation.