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Kenya, US ease cargo movement in revised agreement

cargo

Goods are loaded onto a cargo plane. Kenya and the US have eased cargo movement between the two countries. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • The revised agreement adds seventh-freedom traffic rights for all-cargo operations to the existing pact, allowing cargo airlines to fly directly between countries and operate mutual hubs.

Nairobi and Washington have signed an amendment to the US-Kenya air transport agreement, easing the movement of cargo between the two countries.

The revised agreement adds seventh-freedom traffic rights for all-cargo operations to the existing pact, allowing cargo airlines to fly directly between countries and operate mutual hubs.

This will offer cargo customers cheaper transport costs and efficiency for goods moving between Kenya and the United States.

The signing of the amended bilateral air transport agreement was done in Washington on Thursday by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and the US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh.

Mr Macharia said that the revised Bilateral Air Services Agreement “will facilitate the expansion of air freight services, by allowing airlines from both countries to set up and operate air cargo hubs in either country.”

The amendment is now expected to enter into force following an exchange of diplomatic notes. It has been applied on the basis of comity and reciprocity since it was negotiated on December 4, 2019.

“Specifically, the amendment allows US all-cargo airlines to fly between Kenya and a third nation without needing to stop in the United States, an important right if operating a cargo hub. Kenyan all-cargo carriers have reciprocal rights to serve the United States,” US Department of State spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement, adding that this would expand US economic partnerships and creates new opportunities for all-cargo airlines, exporters, and consumers.

“It will fully open the Kenyan air cargo services market to US carriers, and represents one way in which the US Government is delivering for US all-cargo carriers and American workers,” Ms Ortagus said.

“This amendment is also a step forward in liberalising the international civil aviation sector in Africa – a region that has the potential to be one of the fastest growing in the world.”