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Tanzania retaliates, bans Kenya Airways from its airspace

Tanzania has banned Kenya Airways from the Tanzanian airspace until further notice.

The move was in retaliation to Kenya not including Tanzania in the countries allowed to land after the resumption of international flights.

Reciprocating Kenya’s move

The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority did not hide the motive, stating that they were ‘reciprocating’ Kenya’s move.

“The United Republic of Tanzania noted through a number of media its exclusion in the list of countries whose people will be allowed to travel into Kenya effective 1 August 2020, the date that the Republic of Kenya will open its sky for international commercial passenger flights after having been suspended since 25 March 2020.”

Nullify approval

Thus, they would also nullify approval of Kenya Airways to land in Tanzania. They had granted the approval on the 30th of July, 2020.

“The Authority regrets to inform you that on a reciprocal basis, the Tanzanian Government has decided to nullify its approval for the Kenya Airways (KQ) flights between Nairobi and Dar/Kilimanjaro/Zanzibar effective 1 August 2020 until further notice.”

Kenya opened its borders to international flights on 1 August. It then sent out a list of countries that would fly into Kenya’s airspace.

Indeed, Tanzania was conspicuously missing from the list of countries allowed into Kenya. Even the updated list did not include it, leading to speculations about the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Bumpy diplomatic relations

Kenya and Tanzania’s bumpy relations had come to light following the refusal to allow Tanzanian truck drivers across our border. This followed Tanzania’s lack of concern about the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response, President Magufuli directed that Tanzanians sell their product into Kenya at a higher price. He also refused to allow Kenyan truck drivers into Tanzania.

The two presidents later claimed to have patched up the row and movement across the border resumed.

Following the latest move though, it is safe to say that, the two leaders may have merely swept the problem under the rag.

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