Kenya – Tanzania squabble takes flight

You won't be seeing many of these wings over Kilimanjaro, as Tanzania hits back at Kenya in the ongoing battle between the two countries. Photo: Daniel Hayduk

You won’t be seeing as many of these wings over Kilimanjaro, as Tanzania hits back at Kenya in the ongoing squabble between the two countries. Photo: Daniel Hayduk

Tanzania has hit back at Kenya as the squabble between neighbours takes flight.

Following Kenya’s ban on Tanzanian vehicles at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi earlier this year, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority has decided to cut the frequency of Kenya Airway flights by 67 percent.

Effective Tuesday this week, flights between the two countries are now at 14 per week, down from 42.

In a letter to the Kenyan government, the TCAA says the decision was made because Kenya has taken a hardline stance on unresolved issues surrounding their Bilateral Air Services Agreements (Basa.)

TCAA director Charles Chacha says both countries have gone without an aviation agreement for years, and repeated attempts to settle issues relating to principal place of business and regulatory controls have failed.

“We have considered the gravity of the non-acceptance by Kenya of the proposed criterion by Tanzania and the time taken and implementation of the actions seemed to be the option,” says Chacha.

“Each country is required to comply with the laws in a given country. When you sign an agreement, you have an obligation to protect and guarantee the safety of all planes in your space.”

In addition to the reduced flight schedule, Kenya Airways flights are only allowed to fly Embraer 190 and Boeing 737-800 planes and access only Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam airports.

Chacha brushed off questions about the economic impact of his actions, saying there are advantages and disadvantages to everything.

Kenya Airways country manager Lucy Malu says the airway has managed to re-work their schedule and ‘things are in order.’

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