Tanzania and Kenya are engaged in an aviation row, triggering concerns among travellers in the East African region.
On Monday civil aviation authorities in Tanzania announced that an earlier approval given for the Kenyan national carrier Kenya Airways to operate flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam had been withdrawn.
The decision was in apparent retaliation for Kenya’s denial of rights to Tanzania national carrier Air Tanzania to operate cargo flights between the two countries.
Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement that it decided “to rescind the approvals for Kenya Airways to operate passenger flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam… with effect from 22 January 2024.”
The ongoing clash further worsens the prevailing trade and commercial disputes between members of the East African Community (EAC).
Kenya Airways has said it was aware of the ban from Tanzania and has initiated talks with aviation authorities in both countries to find a solution.
If the row is not resolved quickly it could lead to flight disruptions between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
Kenya Airways is one of Africa’s largest airlines while Air Tanzania is a smaller airline in comparison. Tanzanian authorities in recent years have been trying to expand its fleet, routes and operations.
Tanzania is a major tourist attractions country that draws more than a million visitors every year.
The Kenyan and Tanzanian foreign ministers have assured that both countries would work to solve the issue this week.
“We have jointly agreed that our respective Civil Aviation Authorities will work together to have the matter resolved amicably within the next three days. There should therefore be no cause for alarm,” Kenya’s foreign minister Musalia Mudavadi said in a statement on the X platform.