Tanzania and Kenya have agreed to swiftly resolve the recent tensions arising from passenger flight restrictions imposed by Tanzania.
The agreement was reached through diplomatic channels, with Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Makamba, and his Kenyan counterpart, Musalia Mudavadi, confirming the commitment to address the matter expeditiously.
Minister Makamba, on his X account said “we agree that restrictions on air travel between our countries and from either of our countries to a third country shouldn’t stand. With the relevant authorities, we’ve resolved to settle this issue, per existing agreements, within 3 days.”
The dispute emerged after Tanzania decided to suspend passenger flights operated by Kenya Airways (KQ) to Dar es Salaam, effective January 22, 2024.
Tanzania’s Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) cited Kenya’s refusal to permit cargo flights by Tanzania’s national carrier, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), as the basis for the suspension.
Kenya Airways, in response, communicated its commitment to engaging civil aviation authorities and government agencies in both countries to find a solution that avoids disruptions to passenger flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
Musalia Mudavad on the other hand underscored the joint effort to resolve the matter amicably within the next three days. He reassured the public, stating, “There should, therefore, be no cause for alarm.”
The air travel dispute is part of broader tensions between the two nations among them Covid-19 protocols, trade barriers, and border disputes.
While alternative airlines operate on the Nairobi-Dar es Salaam route, the suspension of Kenya Airways flights could impact travel options and potentially lead to increased fares for passengers.
The diplomatic efforts to swiftly resolve the dispute would be watched closely, given the importance of air connectivity for trade, tourism, and regional economic activities between Kenya and Tanzania.