South Sudan ceasefire holding: Kenya Airways to resume flights to Juba

Kenya Airways will, on Thursday, July 14, resume its scheduled flights to Juba, South Sudan. This follows the ceasefire between the hostile parties apparently holding and the security situation returning to more or less normal after 5 days of unrest.

The airline will resume its 2 daily flights to Juba departing Nairobi for Juba at 0715 hours and at 1320 hours every day.

To accommodate the backlog of passengers, Kenya Airways will for the first couple of days operate a larger capacity aircraft, deploying a B737-800 on the route compared to the smaller Embraer E190 normally used for flights between Nairobi and Juba.

To clear the backlog as soon as possible, Kenya Airways is aiming at accomplishing this task by end of day Friday, July 15, and the airline will give priority to guests based on their original return dates.

Meanwhile, several foreign countries have evacuated their nationals from South Sudan and began to reduce the personnel at their missions in Juba to essential staff, with the American government sending in an additional 47 marines to ensure the safety and security of their embassy compound. Additional marines are reportedly standing by at one of the US Africa bases for rapid deployment should this become necessary. This follows reports that regime troops fired upon a clearly-marked embassy car during the early phase of the fighting. The United Nations also have beefed up security for their compounds in Juba and across the country after at least two of their peace-keeping troops were killed inside the supposedly neutral locations.

Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, whose compound in Juba was reportedly also a target by regime helicopters, has left the capital to an undisclosed location amid reports that he called upon the UN to create buffer zones between the troops of the 2 main protagonists in this ongoing saga.

No other airlines have yet confirmed their return to Juba in the morning.