Somalia bans Kenyan airline for transporting election materials to Somaliland

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MOGADISHU (HOL) – Somalia has banned a Kenyan-registered airline from future operations in the country following its deployment by Somaliland to transport election materials from Nairobi.

Sources close to the Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) have told HOL Astral Aviation was slapped with the ban by the authority, but the circumstances for the move remained unclear.

Astral Aviation was cleared by Kenya on May 13 for 72 hours to transport elections materials for Somaliland elections which will take place on May 31, 2021

The aviation company was to fly two aircrafts- 5Y-UAE and 5Y-MWM during the 72 hour period.

Though Astral Aviation was on a chartered flight basis to Somaliland during the assignment, the SCAA decision could affect its future operations in Somalia owing to the loss of landing rights.

Kenya banned flights to and from Somalia last week but did not give any reasons for the move. According to a Notice to Airman (NOTAM), the suspension runs until August this year.