KLM Cancels Tanzania Flights For Crew Safety, While Kenya And Tanzania Put The Airline On Blast

KLM Cancels Tanzania Flights For Crew Safety, While Kenya And Tanzania Put The Airline On Blast

KLM is refusing to allow its crews to spend the night in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania due to a security threat. However their messaging is causing geopolitical blowback. They described civil unrest in both Kenya and Tanzania when cancelling flights. And the governments in both countries have responded with anger over the accusations.

Here’s a report from a flight that was the apparent victim of a terrorist threat.

Air France KLM has substantial operations into Africa, and owns a stake in Kenya Airways. KLM’s scheduled service includes,

  • Amsterdam – Kilimanjaro – Dar es Salaam – Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam – Zanzibar – Dar es Salaam – Amsterdam

KLM has apologized for describing the reason for flight cancellations as ‘civil unrest’ – language which has angered local officials – saying that it was an imprecise choice of words. They also said that the message should only have gone out to customers in Tanzania, not Kenya, and should have referred to a local threat and not civil unrest.

It’s not as though unrest is completely foreign to Kenya, of course. On the one hand it’s because civil unrest does happen that they may be extra sensitive, but being offended as though such a thing is unthinkable seems a bit much.

Meanwhile the U.S. has issued a security alert for Dar es Salaam so it seems KLM is, at least, not alone in its assessment.

“Terrorist groups could attack with little or no warning, targeting hotels, embassies, restaurants, malls and markets, police stations, places of worship, and other places frequented by Westerners,” the US embassy said in its alert circulated through various social media platforms on Wednesday.

KLM’s Tanzania flights are being disrupted by security risks. Usually governments encourage airlines to truthfully share the reasons why they cancel flights. Here the affected governments are offended that KLM has done so.

(HT: Paul H.)

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