Tanzania blocks Kenyan Airways passenger flights in response to Kenya blocking its cargo flights

A Kenya Airways flight approaches landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. Credit to Photo/NMG

By The Associated Press

Tanzania on Monday announced it had withdrawn approval for neighbouring Kenya’s flagship carrier Kenya Airways to operate a passenger service between the countries beginning next week.

A statement from the Tanzanian Civil Aviation authority said the move was in response to Kenya Civil Aviation Authority denying Air Tanzania the approvals it needed to operate all cargo flights between the two countries.

The statement said the ban on Kenya Airways passenger flights will start on Jan. 22.

The Tanzanian and Kenyan foreign affairs ministers later tweeted that they were engaging each other to settle the dispute amicably within three days.

The move by Tanzania is the latest trade dispute to plague the eight-member East African Community regional economic bloc.

Kenya has previously blocked the importation of milk from Uganda and farm produce from Tanzania. Tanzania has restricted importation of onions to Kenya, leading to skyrocketing prices for the essential commodity.

Landlocked Uganda is suing Kenya at the East African Court of Justice for denying government-owned oil marketer Uganda National Oil Co. a license to operate and handle fuel imports at Kenya’s Mombasa port headed for Kampala.