Kenyan Parliament Okays KQ to increase flight frequencies on Liberia, Vietnam routes

{By SAMUEL KISIKA @kisikasam}

Kenya Airways Dreamliner at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on August 28 last year / The Star FILE
Kenya Airways Dreamliner at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on August 28 last year / The Star FILE

(The Star) – The national carrier Kenya Airways was yesterday given the go-ahead to expand its fleet to Liberia and Vietnam after MPs unanimously ratified bilateral air services agreement.

The approved agreement facilitates KQ, the Liberian and Vietnamese airlines to expand their existing routes by directly operating scheduled air services in each country’s market.

The agreement also allows the airlines of partner countries unable to offer services to enter into commercial arrangements through code sharing. This is where a code of partner countries is put on other carriers to enable the airlines to grow their demand in other markets.

Kenya Airways, for instance, has a code KQ on KLM operated flights into Europe and other destinations, which offers passengers seamless connectivity.

The National Assembly Transport committee chairman Maina Kamanda while tabling the agreement before the House said the bilateral arrangement will enable KQ to increase its flight frequencies to Vietnam from the current three, and expand its daily flights to Liberia.

“The airline plans to extend its flights with 5th Freedom Traffic Rights to point into China from Vietnam. Currently there is no Vietnamese airline operating scheduled flights into Kenya,” Kamanda said.

The agreement provides recognition and validity of certificates of airworthiness, competency and licences issued by other contracting parties, which must also be equal or above the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

“Article 10 provides for user charges imposed by the competent charging authorities of each party to be just, reasonable, non-discriminatory, equitably apportioned among categories of users, and based on sound economic principles,” reads part of the agreement.

The agreement exempts custom duties for regular equipment, fuel and lubricant supply and inspection fees among other similar charges to partner airlines. It also grants parties the right to sell and market international air services and related products in its territory directly or through agents, and gives partners the right to establish offices.

“The delegations agreed to urge their competent authorities to conclude an agreement for avoidance of double taxation on revenues, capital and profits arising from their respective airlines activities and income in the territory of the other Contracting Party,” reads part of the agreement between Kenya and Vietnam signed on August 7, 2014.

Budalang’ I MP Ababu Namwamba supported the agreement and asked KQ to make good use of the deal to promote the tourism sector. He asked KQ management to review its ticketing to woo more customers saying its fares are significantly higher than those of its competitors in Africa.

The air services agreement with Vietnam and Liberia will ease movement of people and goods, and boost Kenya’s economy through improved trade and exchange of skilled manpower.

Kamanda, however, said the management of the ailing Kenya Airways should ensure the government’s turnaround plan for the airline succeeds. He said those involved in the scam that made KQ to incur Sh25 billion losses should be prosecuted.

SOURCE: Kenyan Daily Star

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About Cholo Brooks 16878 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.