Kenya Airways cuts flights to Tanzania amid diplomatic row

NAIROBI (AA) – Kenya’s flag carrier has reduced the number of flights to neighboring Tanzania over a diplomatic row between the two neighbors.

“Kenya Airways wishes to notify its customers that it has reduced its frequencies to Dar es Salaam from 42 to 14 per week and will now only fly twice daily,” the Kenya airline said in a Friday statement.

Earlier this week, Tanzania reduced the number of passenger plane flights from Kenya by almost 67 percent amid tensions between the two countries’ aviation authorities.

“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,” Airline said.

The reduction of flights comes amid tension between aviation authorities in the two neighboring countries.

Tanzania accuses Kenya of taking a hardline stance on a bilateral air services agreement despite eight years of negotiations between the two sides.

The Kenyan airline said that the situation will not change anytime soon.

“Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) are negotiated between governments, we are aware that the relevant Kenyan government agencies have reached out to their Tanzanian counterparts in a bid to resolve the issue,” it added.

Kenya Airways used to operate five daily flights to Dar es Salaam, one to Zanzibar and another to Kilimanjaro.

“Transport is a critical pillar in the integration of the East African Community. As such, expeditious resolution of the pending issues pertaining to the BASA is crucial in fast-tracking regional integration,” the airline said.

Last month, Kenya barred the entry of Tanzanian tour vehicles into Kenyan airports and parks in response to a similar Tanzanian ban.

Kenya is a main transit route for most visitors,

More than 400,000 tourists wishing to travel to Tanzania are believed to have passed through Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the past.

Four months ago, regional leaders in the East African Community bloc signed a memorandum of understanding on the management of the corridor’s airspace in a move aimed at reducing flight costs and enhancing bilateral trade and tourism.

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