Kenya Airways (KQ, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta) announced it would resume flights to Kinshasa N'Djili on May 8 after military intelligence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) released two of its employees who had been detained for a couple of weeks, ostensibly over missing customs documents.

"Kenya Airways confirms that military authorities have unconditionally released our two employees who had been detained since April 19, 2024," the flag carrier said in a statement. "With the necessary ground support in place, we are pleased to announce that Kenya Airways will resume flights to Kinshasa on May 8, 2024."

The Kenyan government announced the release of the two employees on May 6 - the airline's country manager in the DRC, Lydia Mbotela, and an unnamed Congolese colleague - following diplomatic negotiations with the central African country. In a social media post, Korir Sing'Oei, Kenya's principal secretary for foreign affairs, commended Kenya's diplomatic mission in Kinshasa for the breakthrough.

The Kenya Airways employees were detained despite a court ordering their release, resulting in a diplomatic stand-off and the airline suspending its flights to Kinshasa on April 30, accusing the Congolese military of harassment and illegal actions against it.

The airline has denied all wrongdoing relating to the alleged customs issue. "We want to reiterate that our employees are innocent and were only carrying out their duties in strict adherence to the laid-out procedures. We stand by their innocence and will continue to support them," said Allan Kilavuka, group managing director and CEO. He added that the airline was continuing to cooperate with investigating agencies and relevant government entities in the DRC and Kenya.