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Tanzania deals Kenya blow, cancels KQ flights

By Betty Njeru | August 1st 2020

Tanzania has dealt Kenya another blow.

The East African country says it will not allow any Kenya Airways (KQ) flights between Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar effective today, (August 1).

In a statement seen by Standard Digital, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority added: “This also rescinds our previous arrangements that permit KQ flights into the Republic of Tanzania.”

The letter noted that this will last for a period of two months from August 1 to October 24, 2020.

This follows an announcement by Transport CS James Macharia yesterday on countries cleared to access Kenya’s airspace when international flights resume today. 

Consequently, Tanzania was missing in the list consisting of Uganda, Ethiopia, China, Canada, Japan and Rwanda.

Other countries are South Korea, Zimbabwe, France, Morocco and Namibia.

“These are countries that have mild or limited community transmissions or they have declining and these are the ones initially we shall be allowing passengers to come from,” CS Macharia said.

This also comes just days after a delegation sent by President Uhuru Kenyatta to former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa’s burial was turned back mid-air.

Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio had been sent to deliver Uhuru’s message of condolence to Mkapa’s family and Tanzania at large.

However, Tanzanian authorities announced during Mkapa’s farewell ceremony that the Kenyan delegation could not attend the event.

Reason given? That it was due to bad weather. Poghisio told The Standard that the weather was ‘very bad’. “The Tanzanian Civil Aviation warned us of bad weather and we could not land in the city. We needed time to hold before the weather clears or be rerouted back,” he said.

Tanzania resumed international flights and cross-border transportation on May 19, after President John Magufuli declared that the country was free of Covid-19.

"The corona disease has been eliminated thanks to God," Magufuli told worshippers in a church in  Dodoma.

Kenya on the other hand will re-open its airspace to international flights today, August 1.

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