Kenya Airways presently is the only African airline flying directly to Vietnam, after launching flights 13 months ago to Hanoi.
From there, SkyTeam partner Vietnam Airlines then provides onward flights to a number of destinations across the Far East.
It is understood that the Kenyan parliament has now ratified a new BASA, short for bilateral air services agreement, which will allow the Kenyan flag carrier to operate flights beyond Hanoi into China.
Fifth freedom flights regularly improve the financial viability of such flights, as an airline can pick up additional passengers and often even cargo at a waypoint before then flying on to the final destination and vice versa on the return flight.
Kenya Airways currently serves Hong Kong and Guangzhou with its own flights while other destinations in China can be reached as part of a codeshare deal with SkyTeam partner airline China Southern.
After the legal process is complete, it will be up to Kenya Airways to decide if a fifth freedom operation via Hanoi into China will be beneficial to them, and a decision towards that end is expected in the not too distant future.