Tanzania lifts ban on Kenyan airline operators

Wednesday September 16 2020

 

By Alex Malanga @ChiefMalanga amalanga@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Kenyan airlines have finally been allowed to land in Tanzania, bringing an end to the airspace feud between the two countries.

This is after the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) on Wednesday September 16,announced it had lifted the suspension on Kenyan airlines operators.

In a statement, the TCAA director general Hamza Johari said the authority was acting on a reciprocal basis after the KCAA included Tanzania on a revised list of countries exempted from the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

“In view of that and on a reciprocal basis, Tanzania has now lifted the suspension for all Kenyan Operators namely, Kenya Airways, Fly 540 Limited, Safarilink Aviation and AirKenya Express Limited,” TCAA director general Hamza Johari said.

Mr Johari added that the resumption and restoration of flights for all Kenyan operators is with immediate effect and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has been informed accordingly.

“The United Republic of Tanzania shall always strive to adhere to the fundamental principles of Chicago Convention 1944 and Bilateral Air Services Agreement between two States,” he noted.

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Last month Tanzania nullified its approval for Kenya Airways (KQ) flights into the country with effect from August 1, 2020 after Kenya excluded it (Tanzania) on the list of about 111 countries whose passengers are allowed to enter Kenya without being quarantined for 14 days. 

A few days later, Tanzania banned three more Kenyan Airlines from flying into the country as it was piling pressure on Kenya to ease Covid-19 restrictions placed on passengers arriving from its territory.

These included AirKenya Express, Fly540 and Safarilink Aviation---smaller airlines which ferry a significant number of tourists between the two destinations.

The tit- for- tat move between the two parties was precipitated by different approaches that the two countries have taken in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

While Kenya ranked Tanzania on the red list, the latter has always maintained that it was Covid-19 free.

But yesterday, in its latest update, Kenya included Tanzania on the list of 147 countries whose passengers can now fly into Kenya without being quarantined upon their arrival.  

 Other things remaining constant, the new development between the two parties, suggests that KQ,  would with immediate effect resume its 14 weekly flights to Dar es Salaam, three flights to Kilimanjaro and two to Zanzibar.

AirKenya Express and Fly540 will also resume their seven flights between Kenya and Tanzania every week, flying to Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar respectively.

Safarilink Aviation on the other hand will resume its seven flights on each of its Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar routes.