NAIROBI (AA) – Kenyan authorities confirmed on Sunday that Tanzanian tour vehicles will be allowed into Kenyan airports while Kenya’s flag carrier will resume flights to Tanzania with immediate effect.
“The two leaders agreed that with immediate effect, Tanzania registered vehicles will access the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as before while Kenya Airways will continue its normal operations,” Kenyan Foreign Affairs Secretary Amina Mohammed told reporters.
She was referring to a meeting held Saturday between Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete in Namibia.
In a statement on Friday, Kenya Airways announced reducing from 42 to 14 its weekly fights to Dar es Salaam.
The national carrier used to operate five daily flights to Dar es Salaam, one to Zanzibar and another to Kilimanjaro.
The measure came days after Tanzania reduced the number of passenger plane flights from Kenya by almost 67 percent amid tensions between the two countries’ aviation authorities.
Last month, Kenya banned Tanzania-registered tour vehicles from accessing Kenyatta airport and other tourist attractions, including game parks.
Kenya is a main transit route for most visitors to Tanzania.
Currently, more than 300,000 of the more than 1.5 million tourists who visit Tanzania each year arrive via Jomo international airport.
Secretary Mohammed said Presidents Kenyatta and Kikwete had decided that top officials from the ministries of tourism, transport and trade in both countries should meet soon to hammer out differences.
“The first meeting will be held in Dar es Salaam on a date to be agreed by the conveners,” she added.
Kenya wants to renegotiate the 1985 treaty, which, it believes, favors Tanzania.
Nairobi insists that giving Tanzanian-registered tour vehicles access to Jomo airport is not part of the deal and had merely been a “goodwill gesture” by Kenya.
The two countries are both members of the five-member East African Community (EAC), along with Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda.
The regional bloc is devoted to promoting regional economic integration, including a common market, currency, and visa.
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