NAIROBI, KENYA: Business leaders have welcomed positive talks between Kenya and Tanzania which led to the resumption of flights between the two neighbouring East African countries.
In a statement, the East African Business Council appreciated the move that will now see the resumption of Kenyan flights to the United Republic of Tanzania.
It said the move will spur regional tourism, intra-EAC trade, and bilateral trade between Kenya and Tanzania offering steady business and economic rebound.
In 2019, the value of Kenya’s exports to Tanzania stood at approximately Sh36.4 billion while imports at Sh29.8 billion, according to data from the Central Bank of Kenya.
“EABC has been pushing for a coordinated approach on the resumption of regional air services over the last 2 months since the Partner States started considering reopening their borders. With the two countries re-opening their airspaces to each other, we are confident that this will increase demand for travel services, ease movement of people and integrate logistics value chains for exports of goods, open access to a larger market and boost regional tourism,” Dr. Peter Mathuki, EABC CEO said.
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Comparing March-July 2020 to last year the same period, analysis indicates that the value of Kenya’s exports to Tanzania decreased by negative 9.8 per cent while imports decreased by 29.4 per cent.
From March to July 2020, Kenya exports stood at Sh18.3 billion and imports Sh14.6 billion, as per the Central Bank of Kenya.
Dr. Mathuki urges the EAC Partner States to consider waiving landing fees, reducing excise duty on aviation fuel, navigation, landing, parking, and COVID-19 related fees, to the high cost of air travel.
Uganda is scheduled to resume international flights on October 1. Rwanda resumed international flights on August 1.
EABC is currently conducting a snapshot survey on the movement of business persons and cargo across EAC borders amid the pandemic.
Tanzania dealt Kenya a blow when on August 1 it blocked Kenya Airways (KQ) flights between Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar.
Kenya Airways (KQ) said it will resume flights to Tanzania next week bringing to an end a dispute that has lasted nearly two months.