Kenya has entered into new 8 air service agreements in the just concluded the ICAO Air Service Negotiations (ICAN) held in Nairobi.
The deals with Cambodia,The Bahamas, Jamaica, Turkey, Seychelles, Greece, Finland and Burkina Faso were signed by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, James Macharia on behalf of the Kenyan Government which allows the country to use territorial spaces as well other aviation related services.
These Agreements enable airlines to expand their existing route networks by directly operating scheduled services to other markets. The agreements will allow airlines to offer services where they were previously unable to as well as enter into Commercial Arrangements such as code share agreements.
This allows the airlines to grow the demand in other markets by putting their code on other carriers thereby offering seamless connectivity to the traveling public.
Kenya also concluded at least 34 air service negotiations with various states from different parts of the world marking the largest such negotiations in the 11-year history of the ICAO Air Service Negotiations (ICAN).
The Kenyan delegation met with thirty-three (33) countries namely Cambodia, Chile, Cabo Verde, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Jordan, Turkey, DRC, Portugal, Mozambique, UAE, USA, Saudi Arabia, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Netherlands,Luxembourg, Malaysia, Switzerland, Colombia, UK, Namibia, Dominican Republic,Iran, Italy, Qatar, Germany, Seychelles, Spain, Greece, Finland, Burkina Faso and Oman.
The negotiations centered on review of existing air service agreements, crafting new agreements and conclusion of already ratified ones.
Captain Gilbert Kibe, Director General of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said the number of agreements negotiated signifies the attractiveness of Kenya for business,tourism, trade that will be enabled through aviation.
“Kenya is playing a central role in strengthening air transport connectivity while attracting huge interest geared to cementing business and investment partnerships with these countries through aviation. It will enable the local airlines to expand into new routes, grow their market reach, increase frequencies and capacity. Further this will enhance connectivity, facilitate tourism, international trade, create jobs and generate economic growth for Kenya,” said Capt. Kibe.
Through KCAA, Kenya achieved may firsts by convening delegations from 71 countries; facilitating 400 signed agreements. There were 550 negotiators who held 480 negotiation meetings and a total of 1200 participants.
“The event provided a formidable platform of networking for all aviation stakeholders further underpinning the importance of aviation as being at the core of enabling commerce and thriving of world tourism. With the 5 –day negotiations, we are hopeful that it will culminate in enhanced connectivity between Kenya and the rest of the world. Hence to realize the full benefits of these negotiations, will be full implementation of the agreements committed to by the different states”, added Capt. Kibe.
ICAN 2018 further provided a platform for more Single African Air Transport Market(SAATM) member states to commit to implementing the agreement to liberalize their air space. Gambia and Mozambique signed the Memorandum of Implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision.