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EABC calls for coordinated opening of EAC regional airspace

By Njange Maina
Sunday, August 2nd, 2020
East African Business Council
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the East African Business Council, Dr. Peter Mathuki, at a past function. PHOTO | FILE

The East African Business Council(EABC) has called on the East African Community members to coordinate the resumption of regional flights.

The council's Executive Director Dr. Peter Mathuki said there is need to coordinate the opening of the airspace to revive the tourism and the hospitality sector which were hit by the pandemic.

"The East African Business Council (EABC) calls for an East African Community (EAC) coordinated approach on the resumption of regional air services to spur intra-EAC trade and revive the tourism and hospitality sector heavily hit by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Peter Mathuki.

This comes as Tanzania barred Kenya Airways (KQ) flights from its airspace after Kenya failed to include Tanzania in the list of countries approved to enter Kenya.

The EABC commended Kenya and Rwanda who resumed flights on August 1, and also Tanzania which resumed flights on May 18. EABC said resumption of flights will revive the tourism, hospitality and other businesses within the region.

In 2018, trade injected Sh598 billion into the regional economy, according to the EAC Trade and Investment report. The Covid-19 crisis is expected to reduce the figure by 50 percent.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA)has warned that the East African Region may lose an upwards of Sh540 billion that the tourism and hospitality sector contributes.

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