Latest review between Tanzania and Egypt to create flexibility in airline business

Tuesday August 02 2022
Hamza Johari

TCAA director general Hamza Johari,. PHOTO | COURTESY

By Alex Nelson Malanga

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania has agreed to modernise its bilateral air services agreement (Basa) with Egypt to create more flexibility to airlines, The Citizen has learnt.
Experts in the Basa negotiations, who met in Cairo, Egypt on July 26-27 agreed on five key issues that are meant to spur flexibility leading to rapid recovery of air transport services from turbulence caused by the outbreak of the pandemic from early 2020.
The two countries agreed on allowing a new Egyptian airline (Air Cairo) to operate between Egypt and Tanzania.
 The designated airlines from the two countries are also entitled for scheduled flights,  operating unlimited frequencies per week for passenger services without any restriction on the capacity and aircraft type.
Previously,  Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), only allowed seven frequencies.
With the review of the accord, the airlines of both sides are also now entitled to operate three weekly all-cargo flights instead of only one previously, without any restriction on the capacity and aircraft type.
The code-share arrangement was also reviewed to allow for two or more designated airlines from the same country to code share and operate into the other country.
 The previous Basa had not mentioned this flexibility.
The review has also entitled designated airlines of either country to combine points in the territory of the other.
TCAA director general Hamza Johari, encouraged Egypt Air to combine Dar with Zanzibar in operating its flights from Cairo, but without exercising cabotage.
Mr Johari, who was the Head of the Tanzanian delegation during the Basa negotiations, underscored that in today’s aviation system, cooperation between airlines in the course of providing air transport services, is a powerful strategy for survival.
“It is high time ATCL (Air Tanzania Company Limited) and Egypt Air took advantage of the new bilateral framework which provides for cooperation in various ways,” Mr Johari said.
The two airlines were invited the negotiations as observers.
The review of Basa between Tanzania and Egypt happened only 30 days after the experts met in Mayotte Islands on another Basa modernization between Tanzania and France.
TCAA economic regulation director Daniel Malanga, who was part of the delegation in both Egypt and Mayotte, exuded his optimism that the review of Basas will speed up the recovery of the aviation sector.
“Basa review at this time of the recovery is paramount because the industry has been disturbed by severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation that calls for rethinking of some of its structures,” he said in the document seen by The Citizen.
Now that the negotiations with Egypt have been completed, the next stage is to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) so that what has been agreed upon is reflected in the new Basa.
When this is completed, the Basa will be signed by relevant authorities of the two countries and date of entry into force determined pursuant to the institutional internal procedures applicable by each country and the Basa itself.