Tanzania blocks Kenya’s KQ flights from Jan. 22

(Last Updated On: 16 January 2024)

Kampala I Kenya and Tanzania have surprised the East African community with their latest aviation row in what many see as “unexpected” and bad for the two economies.

In a public letter this week, Hamza S. Johari, Director General of Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCCA), wrote: “Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority, on behalf of the aeronautical authorities of the United Republic of Tanzania, has decided to rescind the approvals of Kenya Airways (KQ) to operate passenger flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam under Third and Forth Freedom Traffic Rights with effect from 22 January 2024.

Johari added that the decision is to reciprocate that made by the aeronautical authorities of the Republic of Kenya to refuse the Tanzanian request for all-cargo flight operations by Air Tanzania Company Limited under Fifth Freedom traffic Rights between Nairobi and Third countries.

He said Kenya’s decision is contrary to Section 4 of the Memorandum of Understanding on Air Services between Tanzania and Kenya signed November 22, 2016, in Nairobi.

“Following this decision, there shall be no passenger flights by KQ between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam from 22 January 2024.

“The United Republic of Tanzania shall always strive to adhere to the principals of the Chicago Convention 1994 and Bilateral Air Service Agreement between States,” Hamza concluded.

At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in [August] 2020, Tanzania banned KQ flights temporarily after the Kenyan carriers excluded Tanzania from the list of countries whose nationals could enter Kenya without quarantine restrictions.

The current flight war – in addition to other issues might affect trade and tourism between the two nations.

Some East African Community member states seem to be wanting wars, with Burundi last week closing its borders with Rwanda. Also, DRC is at war with Rwanda with the former accusing Kigali of supporting rebels to change leadership in Kinshasa.

Late last year, DRC President Felix Tshiskedi won reelection for another term (5 years).

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