Kenya Airways to resume normal operations in Tanzania
23 March 2015, 08:11
Nairobi - Kenya Airways will resume its 42 flights with immediate effect to Tanzania up from 14, which had been imposed by the Dar es Salaam authorities restricting flights entering its airspace.
Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Amina Mohamed told journalists in Nairobi that the move follows talks between Kenyan and Tanzanian presidents in Namibia on Saturday.
"The Kenyan and Tanzanian leaders have also agreed that, with immediate effect, Tanzania registered vehicles will access Kenya's main airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as before," Mohamed said.
On Friday, Kenya Airways said it has reduced its frequencies to Dar es Salaam from 42 to 14 per week and will now only fly twice daily from March 19 due to the airspace restrictions.
"This is as a result of a communication from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) reducing flight frequencies of Kenyan carriers into Tanzania," it said.
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The Tanzanian action follows a deadlock on the Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) between the two countries.
According to the TCAA letter, Kenya has maintained a hardline stance on resolving issues surrounding the BASA. The acting TCAA director-general, Charles Chacha, reportedly said the two countries had gone for years without an aviation agreement.
He said BASA has been stuck in a stalemate between the two countries, adding that there are issues to be considered in each agreement, including the number and kind of flights, alongside identification of airport for international flights. But speaking in Nairobi, Mohamed said within four weeks, the ministers of foreign affairs of the two neighbors will convene and chair a meeting of the parties including ministers of transport, ministers of tourism and chiefs of staff in the two presidencies to discuss and reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
"The first meeting will be held in Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam on a date to be agreed by the two governments," she said.
The two East African presidents were in Namibia to attend the 25th anniversary as well as the inauguration of Namibia's third President Hage Geingob.
Mohamed noted that the two leaders will continue to discuss openly issues affecting the brotherly and long-standing bilateral relationship that exists between Tanzania and Kenya.
"The meeting was held under a very cordial atmosphere with the two Heads of State emphasizing the need to continue to discuss openly issues affecting the brotherly and long-standing bilateral relationship that exists between Tanzania and Kenya," she said, adding that the main issues of the meeting revolved around transport and tourism sectors.
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