TCAA rescinds ban on Kenyan carriers

17Sep 2020
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
TCAA rescinds ban on Kenyan carriers

​​​​​​​THE Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) yesterday lifted the ban on Kenya airlines after the neighbouring country removed Tanzania from its list of countries required to undergo 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

TCAA Director General Hamza Johari said in a statement that the decision to allow the four airlines back into Tanzanian skies was reciprocal after Kenya’s gesture.

“In view of that and on a reciprocal basis, Tanzania has now lifted the suspension for all Kenyan operators namely, Kenya Airways, Fly 540 Limited, Safarilink Aviation and AirKenya Express Limited,” he specified.

TCAA’s counterpart, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority on Tuesday released a revised list of over 100 countries with Tanzania on it, meaning passengers are no longer required to undergo 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

In his statement yesterday, Johari said after this move, Kenyan carriers were fee to resume flights right away.

TCAA nullified permits for Kenya Airways to land in the country with effect from August 1, 2020 after Kenya excluded Tanzania from its list of countries whose passengers are allowed to enter its territory without being quarantined for 14 days.

Days later, TCAA extended the ban to three more Kenyan carriers namely AirKenya Express, Fly540 and Safarilink Aviation as it piled pressure on Nairobi to ease its Covid-19 travel restrictions in relation to Tanzania.

The ban on the four airlines hit Kenya where it hurts most, considering how costly it is to suspend scheduled flights, with passengers demanding refunds and planes grounded.

After the Covid-19 pandemic reached the East African Community (EAC) region in March, Kenya and other countries adopted strict containment measures including lockdowns while Tanzania went easy.

As other EAC countries continue to release Covid-19 data on recorded cases and fatalities, Tanzania last did so in April and then issued general statements on the situation in Covid-19 facilities, which were running towards closure early to mid May.

Tanzanian truck drivers were being harassed seeking to enter other EAC countries, including being put on quarantine, while Tanzania has not been subjecting arrivals from other countries to such restrictions, officials noted.