In retaliation, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) has suspended all Kenya Airways (KQ) passenger flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam starting January 22, 2024.
Kenya Airways runs 33 weekly flights on this route. The move comes after Kenya denied Tanzania’s request for Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) to conduct cargo flights between Nairobi and third countries.
The TCAA claims Kenya’s refusal breaches Section 4 of the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding on Air Services, which mandates reciprocal treatment for airlines from both nations.
“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,” stated TCAA Director General Hamza S. Johari in a public notice.
Tanzania’s commitment to international aviation regulations and bilateral agreements, including the Chicago Convention 1944 and Bilateral Air Services Agreement, was emphasized by Johari.
The abrupt suspension of Kenya Airways (KQ) flights is expected to have a significant impact on travel between Tanzania and Kenya, affecting business, tourism, and family connections for thousands of passengers.
While alternative airlines still operate on the route, the absence of KQ’s flights will likely result in fewer options and potentially higher fares.
The ongoing dispute over air travel rights between Tanzania and Kenya, which began in August 2020, has escalated, raising concerns about the future of air travel between the two countries.
This disruption poses risks for both nations, especially in the tourism and business sectors.