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Ban on holiday flights to Kenya extended

Foreign Offices advises only essential travel

Elephants by a river

Addo Elephant National Park

The ban on UK holiday company charter flights to strife-torn Kenya has been extended up to and including Friday of this week.

The extension was announced by the UK’s Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) which had been considering the situation in the east African country where more than 500 lives have been lost in post-election violence.

The FTO was left with little choice as the Foreign Office (FO) is still advising Britons against all but essential travel to Kenya.

Non-essential travel

In the House of Commons, Mr Miliband advised would-be visitors to Kenya against any ‘non-essential’ travel and condemned the ‘appalling’ post-election violence.

‘We had hoped that the FO might be in a position to change the advice,’ said FTO spokesman Graham Lancaster.

He went on: ‘Those people due to fly home from Kenya in the next few days will be brought back as planned. As far as charter flights due to go out to Kenya on Saturday are concerned, we shall make a decision on Thursday.’

British Airways

Scheduled services between the UK and Kenya are still being operated by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Kenya Airways.

No charter flights have operated since last week with UK holiday companies sending empty planes out to bring back British tourists.

Around 2,000 UK holidaymakers are still out in Kenya. Travelling on safari or relaxing at luxurious Indian Ocean beach resorts, most are well away from the centres of unrest but have to pass through Nairobi and Mombasa during the course of their trips.

There have been no reports of any British holidaymakers being caught up in the violence that has followed the disputed return to power of the country’s president Mwai Kibaki.

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