Kenya Confident Tanzania Will Reinstate KQ Landing Rights

(file photo).

Nairobi — The government now says that Tanzania has agreed to reverse the decision of revoking Kenya Airways landing approval, following talks.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said he had a virtual meeting with his Tanzanian Counterpart Isaac Kamwelwe, and agreed to look into the matter reiterating that Tanzania has also not been banned from flying her passengers to Kenya.

"I would like to confirm that indeed we have agreed with the Minister of Transport from Tanzania on all issues and that advisory which was given by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority by the end of the day it will be reversed," Macharia said.

Macharia further clarified that the differences between the two countries are only surrounding the measures taken to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus but the airspace is open for passengers as long as they have authorized documents.

"There is no misunderstanding and Kenya has never banned travelers from Tanzania and Kenya has not also banned flights from Tanzania" he said, "What we have done is indicate certain health-related protocols of people arriving from various countries and of which we will be reviewing in terms of countries which will be coming here and with passengers exempt from quarantine."

Tanzania announced Friday that it had revoked landing rights for Kenya Airways following Kenya's decision to exclude her passengers from flying in over fears of COVID-19.

Soon after Kenya released an amended list of countries whose nationalities will be allowed into the country, Tanzania fired back through its civil aviation authority, declaring that KQ's approval is revoked.

"The authority regrets to inform you that on a reciprocal basis, the Tanzanian Government has decided to nullify its approval for Kenya Airways flights between Nairobi and Dar/Kilimanjaro/Zanzibar effective August 1, 2020 until further notice," said Hamza Johari, the country's civil aviation authority Director-General, in a letter to the airline.

He was categorical that the decision was prompted by Kenya's decision to exclude Tanzania from a list of cleared countries.

Kenya had earlier listed China, Canada, South Korea, Namibia, Uganda, Rwanda, Morocco, Japan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Switzerland as the only countries cleared.

But on Friday, Macharia updated the list to include the US (except for California, Florida and Texas), UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Qatar, UAE and Italy "following further review and consultation between the Cabinet Secretaries responsible for Transport, Health and Tourism."

Kenya resumed international flights on August 1, under tight COVID-19 regulations.

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