Captain Daudi Kimuyu Kibati, became ill on March 29, died on April 1, a week after performing his last international assignment for Kenya Airways.
Captain Kibati was in command of the last flight from New York to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, which evacuated Kenyan citizens stranded in the United States, before the government’s ban on international flights took effect last Wednesday.
Captain Kibati’s death comes in the wake of Taiwanese pilots also testing positive to coronavirus, raising concerns about the safety of airline crews worldwide.
Before the government suspended all international flights on March 25, Kenya Airways offered a one-way complimentary ticket to Kenyans stranded in New York City who wished to return home to Kenya.
New York City was put on lockdown on March 23, notably the same day the last KQ flight was departing from the John F Kennedy International Airport.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, the Management and Staff of Kenya Airways, we join the family of Captain Kibati in mourning their beloved one and pray that the Almighty God will strengthen them during this time of sorrow.”
Evelyne Munyoki, Chief Human Resources Officer, Kenya Airways
According to sources senior at Kenya Airways who requested anonymity, Captain Kibati, a senior captain on the Dreamliner, was tasked with evacuating Kenyans from coronavirus-ravaged New York under very strict timelines.
The flight had to depart New York before a statewide lockdown was commenced, and it had to arrive in Nairobi before March 25.
Source: Sam Chui.com