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Tanzanian airline cancels plan to resume Nairobi flights

PRECISION

Tanzania-based Air Precision. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Tanzania-based Air Precision has cancelled planned resumption of flights to Nairobi just days after the government said it would not deny them traffic rights amid the ongoing standoff between the two countries.
  • In a notice published on the airline’s website, Precision Air said it was suspending the plans because of low demand of passengers seeking to fly.
  • Tanzania has stopped three Kenya airlines including Kenya Airways from flying to Dar, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro after Nairobi excluded it from the list of safe countries whose citizen will not be subjected to mandatory 14 days quarantine on arrival.

The Tanzania-based Air Precision has cancelled planned resumption of flights to Nairobi just days after the government said it would not deny them traffic rights amid the ongoing standoff between the two countries.

In a notice published on the airline’s website, Precision Air said it was suspending the plans because of low demand of passengers seeking to fly.

Tanzania has stopped three Kenya airlines including Kenya Airways from flying to Dar, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro after Nairobi excluded it from the list of safe countries whose citizen will not be subjected to mandatory 14 days quarantine on arrival.

“We regret to inform you that due to insufficient demand, we have postponed the resumption of Nairobi flights. A new date and schedule will be published on our website soon,” said the airline in the notice.

The airline was to resume flights tomorrow flying from Dar es Salaam via Zanzibar to Nairobi and back, and would have capitalised on the absence of Kenya Airways, which has a 40 percent stake on Precision Air, to meet the needs of travellers.

Zanzibar is one of the routes with the highest traffic in the region because of its resort nature that has made it popular with the tourists.

Prior to the ban, KQ which operates its regional hub from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, had a permit to fly 14 times to Dar es Salaam every week, three times to Kilimanjaro and two times to Zanzibar, mostly ferrying tourists and business travelers between the two destinations.

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general, Gilbert Kibe said talks are ongoing with Tanzania to allow resumption of KQ flights to Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.

Prior to the ban on Kenya Airways flights, Kenya and Tanzania had been involved in retaliatory border blockades which affected thousands of truckers and businesses.

Kenya’s latest Covid-19 red-list is likely to heighten the stand-off with its neighbour Tanzania—possibly leading to more trade wars between the two nations.

Mr Kibe said Precision Air has an existing traffic rights that will not be nullified on the account of the existing stalemate between Kenya and Tanzania.

Kenya Airways, whose traffic rights to Tanzania were still valid at the beginning of this month when the carrier resumed international flights, were revoked by the Tanzanian authorities on retaliatory grounds.