East African Aviation Industry
Kenya to renegotiate key bilateral air service agreements
The Seychelles, Mauritius and South Sudan are three of as many as 13 countries Kenya intends to review and revise bilateral air service agreements with. The agreements, in short BASA’s, regulate air traffic between states.
Governed under BASA’s are the number of frequencies ‘designated’ airlines from both countries are allowed to fly, how many airlines can be designated to be on the route, but also often specifies the type of aircraft which can be used to operate passenger and cargo flights.
Most significant for Kenya is probably reaching a formal agreement with South Sudan to where several Kenyan airlines including Kenya Airways and Jetlink fly double daily services. Air links to the Indian Ocean islands of the Seychelles – Kenya Airways presently flies three times a week to Mahe although Air Seychelles is currently not reciprocating their route rights – and Mauritius could see added competition as other airlines besides the national carriers could opt under new arrangements to commence flights.
The agreement with the Gulf state of Qatar is also due to be re-negotiated, while others on the list reach as far as Vietnam and the Philippines, while negotiations are also still ongoing with such countries as Canada and Mexico.
The airlines interested in flying to Kenya continue to question the opening of the new passenger terminal, added aircraft parking areas and in particular the time frame for a long overdue and much needed second runway, infrastructure facilities playing an increasing role in the decision making by airline executives when selecting new destinations.