The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) Monday announced the suspension of all Kenya Airways (KQ) passenger flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, effective January 22, 2024, in a tit-for-tat move.
Kenya Airways operates 33 scheduled flights per week between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
This comes in response to Kenya’s recent denial of Tanzania’s request for cargo flights by its carrier, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), between Nairobi and third countries, officials said.
The TCAA cited the Kenyan authorities’ refusal as a breach of Section 4 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Air
Services were signed between the two nations in 2016. This section stipulates reciprocal treatment for airlines of both countries.
“This decision is based on the principle of reciprocity, following the refusal by the Kenyan authorities to grant approval for ATCL’s cargo flights despite the clear provisions of the MoU,” said TCAA Director General Hamza S. Johari in a public notice.
- Cabinet, Approves The Implementation Of The Treasury Single Account (TSA) For National And County Governments.
- African Governments Urged To Partner More With Private Sector To Enhance Aquaculture Production
Johari further emphasized Tanzania’s commitment to international aviation regulations and bilateral agreements, stating,
“The United Republic of Tanzania shall always strive to adhere to the principles of Chicago Convention 1944 and Bilateral Air Services Agreement between States.”
The sudden suspension of KQ flights is expected to significantly impact passengers traveling between the two countries.
Thousands rely on this route for business, tourism, and family connections. While alternative airlines operate on
the route, the loss of KQ’s flights will undoubtedly lead to reduced options and potentially higher fares.
The dispute between Tanzania and Kenya over air travel rights has been simmering for several months.
In August 2020, Tanzania banned KQ flights for a brief period after Kenya excluded Tanzanians from a list of countries whose citizens could enter without quarantine restrictions.
The ban was later lifted, but tensions remained high.
The current situation raises concerns about the future of air travel between the two countries.
Both Tanzania and Kenya stand to lose from this disruption, particularly the tourism and business sectors.