The decision comes after Kenya’s aeronautical authorities declined a request from Tanzania for all-cargo flight operations by Air Tanzania Company Limited.

In an official statement on Monday, Hamza Johari, the Director General of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority, clarified that the ban applies to passenger flights operated by Kenya Airways (KQ) under Third and Fourth Freedom Traffic Rights.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and his Tanzanian counterpart January Makamba say they are working to resolve the matter within three days.

“We have jointly agreed that our respective Civil Aviation Authorities will work together to have the matter resolved amicably within the next three days,” Mudavadi said Monday after a telephone conversation with his counterpart who equally tweeted saying there should be no cause for alarm.

Johari explained that this action was taken to reciprocate Kenya’s refusal to grant all-cargo flight operations by Air Tanzania Company Limited under Fifth Freedom Traffic Rights, a move deemed contrary to Section 4 of the Memorandum of Understanding on Air Services signed between Tanzania and Kenya on November 24, 2016, in Nairobi.

As a result of this decision, passenger flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam operated by KQ will cease from January 22, 2024.

The ban is expected to have significant repercussions in both countries and it is not the first time Tanzania is imposing such a ban.

By Fred Odanga Azelwa.