East Africa: Eabc Salutes Dar, Nairobi Over Aviation Stalemate

Kenyan airways
Kenyan Airways.

THE East African Business Council (EABC) has commended Tanzania and Kenya for reaching a truce that will now see the resumption of Nairobi flights to Dar.

The regional apex body of Private Sector associations and corporates in East Africa also lauded the aviation regulators from both countries for facilitating an agreement on the resumption of air transport services in the EAC region.

Such a move, according to EABC, will spur regional tourism, intra-EAC trade and bilateral trade between Kenya and Tanzania, offering steady business and economic rebound.

"EABC has been pushing for a coordinated approach on the resumption of regional air services over the last two months since the Partner States started considering reopening their borders. With the two countries reopening their airspaces to each other, we are confident that this will increase demand for travel services, ease movement of people and integrate logistics value chains for export of goods, open access to a larger market and boost regional tourism," said EABC CEO, Dr Peter Mathuki.

Comparing March-July 2020 to the same period last year, analysis indicate that the value of Kenya's exports to Tanzania decreased by negative 9.8 per cent while imports decreased by 29.4 per cent.

Dr Mathuki further urged the EAC Partner States to consider waiving landing fees, reducing excise duty on aviation fuel, navigation, landing, parking and Covid-19 related fees, to the high cost of air travel.

Uganda is scheduled to resume international flights early next month while Rwanda resumed international flights on August 1, 2020.

EABC is currently conducting a snapshot survey on the movement of business persons and cargo across EAC borders amid the pandemic.

Last week, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) announced that it had allowed Kenyan flights to resume their flights to the country, reciprocating in kind following the decision by the Kenyan Ministry of Health of reviewing its Covid-19 trends and exempted Tanzanian nationals from the 14-day mandatory quarantine when they arrive into the country.

The decision will see all passengers arriving in Tanzania aboard Kenyan Airways, Fly 540 Limited, Safarilink Aviation and AirKenya Express Limited no longer subjected to two-week quarantine.

Earlier, Tanzanians arriving in Kenya were not allowed to mingle freely with the public until they finished the 14-day quarantine period.

This resulted into a diplomatic dispute between the two countries largely occasioned by a failure to agree on the Covid- 19 protocols to be followed in the cross-border movement of people and goods.

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