DAR ES SALAAM/NAIROBI: Tanzania and Kenya have reached an agreement that the recently imposed restrictions on air travel should not stand.
According to Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Makamba’s post on X (formerly Twitter), the two East African economic powerhouses have resolved the matter using the relevant authorities.
“I spoke to my Kenyan colleague @MusaliaMudavadi. We agree that restrictions on air travel between our countries and from either of our countries to a third country shouldn’t stand. With the relevant authorities, we’ve resolved to settle this issue, per existing agreements, within 3 days,” Mr. Makamba posted.
On his part, his Kenyan counterpart noted that Tanzania and Kenya have agreed that their respective Civil Aviation Authorities will work together to have the matter resolved amicably within the next three days.
“I have this evening spoken to H.E. @JMakamba (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, regarding the decision of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority to rescind the approvals for @KenyaAirways to operate passenger flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, effective from January 22nd, 2024.
“We have jointly agreed that our respective Civil Aviation Authorities will work together to have the matter resolved amicably within the next three days. There should, therefore, be no cause for alarm,” Mudavadi posted on X platform.
On Monday, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) announced a decision to revoke the approvals for Kenya Airways (KQ) to conduct passenger flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
According to a statement released and signed by the TCAA Director-General, Mr. Hamza Johari, the approvals are under the third and fourth Freedom Traffic Rights with effect from January 22nd of this year.
“TCAA, on behalf of the aeronautical authority of the United Republic of Tanzania, has decided to rescind the approvals for Kenya Airways (KQ) to operate passenger flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam under the third and fourth Freedom Traffic Rights with effect from January 22, 2024,” reads part of the statement.
The third and fourth freedoms are traffic rights that allow international services between two countries.
The third freedom gives an airline the right to fly (passengers and/or cargo) from one’s own country to another country.
The fourth freedom gives an airline the right to fly from another country to the home country for the purpose of commercial services.
The statement further said that the move was meant to reciprocate the decision by the aeronautical authorities of the Republic of Kenya to refuse Tanzania’s request for all cargo flight operations by Air Tanzania Company Limited under Fifth Freedom Traffic Rights between Nairobi and third countries.
The TCAA cited the Kenyan authorities’ refusal as a breach of section 4 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Air Services between the two nations signed on November 24th, 2016, in Nairobi, Kenya.
This section stipulates reciprocal treatment for airlines of both countries.
“This decision is based on the principle of reciprocity, following the refusal by the Kenyan authorities to grant approval for ATCL’S cargo flights despite the clear provisions of the MoU,” the statement said.
Following the decision, the statement noted, there shall be no passenger flights by KQ between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam from January 22nd of this year. It further read that Tanzania shall always strive to adhere to the principles of the Chicago Convention 1994 and Bilateral Air Services Agreement between States.