Kenya has concluded at least 34 air service negotiations with various nations from different parts of the world – the largest in the 11th-year history of the ICAO Air Service Negotiations(ICAN).
However, the fully negotiated ones were 8 air service agreements that were signed by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, James Macharia on behalf of the Kenyan Government.
They included- Cambodia, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Turkey, Seychelles, Greece, Finland and Burkina Faso.
The Kenyan delegation met with thirty-three (33) countries namely Cambodia, Chile, Cabo Verde, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Jordan, Turkey, DRC, Portugal, Mozambique, UAE, USA, Saudi Arabia, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Switzerland, Colombia, UK, Namibia, Dominican Republic, Iran, Italy, Qatar, Germany, Seychelles, Spain, Greece, Finland, Burkina Faso and Oman.
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The negotiations centred around review of existing air service agreements, crafting new agreements and conclusion of already ratified ones.
According to Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director General Captain Gilbert Kibe, the number of agreements negotiated signifies the attractiveness of Kenya for business, tourism, trade that will be enabled through aviation.
“Kenya is playing a central role in strengthening air transport connectivity while attracting huge interest geared to cementing business and investment partnerships with these countries through aviation. It will enable the local airlines to expand into new routes, grow their market reach, increase frequencies and capacity. Further this will enhance connectivity, facilitate tourism, international trade, create jobs and generate economic growth for Kenya,” said Capt. Kibe.
Through KCAA, Kenya achieved it by convening delegations from 71 countries; facilitating 400 signed agreements.
There were 550 negotiators who held 480 negotiation meetings and a total of 1200 participants.
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The states include Afghanistan; Australia; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Botswana; Brazil; Burkina Faso; Cabo Verde; Cambodia; Cameroon; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Côte D'ivoire; Czech Republic; Democratic People's Republic Of Korea; Democratic Republic Of Congo; Denmark; Dominican Republic; Ethiopia; Finland; Gambia; Germany; Ghana; Greece; Guyana; Haiti; Iceland; Iran; Italy; Jamaica; Jordan; Kenya; Liberia and Luxembourg and many others.
These Agreements enable airlines to expand their existing route networks by directly operating scheduled services to other markets.
The agreements will allow airlines to offer services where they were previously unable to as well as enter into Commercial Arrangements such as code share agreements. This allows the airlines to grow the demand in other markets by putting their code on other carriers thereby offering seamless connectivity to the traveling public.