Kenya, Tanzania pledge to resolve flight row within 3 days
Written by Inka FM on 16 January 2024
Kenya and Tanzania have committed to resolving their flight restriction dispute amid protests from citizens of both countries over inconveniences.
January Makamba, the Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, announced on Monday evening that he had spoken with his Kenyan counterpart, Musalia Mudavadi, and they had agreed to resolve the dispute within the next three days.
“I spoke to my Kenyan colleague @MusaliaMudavadi. We agree that restrictions of air travel between our countries and from any of our country to a third country shouldn’t stand. With relevant authorities, we’ve resolved to settle this issue, per existing agreements, within 3 days,” Makamba said in a statement on X.
The statement came moments after Tanzania Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) announced the suspension of Kenya Airways flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
The authority’s Director General Hamza S Johari said the move was in retaliation to Kenya’s move to block Air Tanzania from operating cargo flights between Nairobi and other countries.
Johari protested that Kenya’s move was against the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two East African countries in 2016.
He indicated that the ban would take effect on Monday, January 22.
“Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority, on behalf of the aeronautical authorities of the United Republic of Tanzania has decided to rescind the approvals for Ken ya 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.
“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,” Johari said.
Mudavadi, in a separate statement, expressed Kenya’s commitment to resolving the stalemate, adding that there was no cause for alarm.
“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 stated.