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Kenya, US sign amended air cargo agreement

Thursday February 06 2020
cargo

Kenya and United States (US) have signed an amendment to the US-Kenya Air Transport Agreement, which will now see easier movement of goods between the two countries. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ALLAN OLINGO

Kenya and United States (US) have signed an amendment to the US-Kenya Air Transport Agreement, which will now see easier movement of goods between the two countries.

The amendment adds all-cargo rights to the existing air transport agreement between the two countries. It is expected that when the deal comes into force, it will offer air carriers greater flexibility to meet their cargo and express delivery customers’ needs more efficiently.

The amendment now adds seventh-freedom traffic rights for all-cargo operations to the bilateral Air Transport Agreement between the two countries, meaning cheaper costs, and efficiency of cargo movement between the two countries.

The signing was done between US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Transport, and Infrastructure James Macharia at the Department of State in Washington on Thursday morning.

Mr Macharia said that the revised Bilateral Air Services Agreement “will facilitate the expansion of air freight services, by allowing airlines from both countries to set up and operate air cargo hubs in either country.”

The amendment is now expected to enter into force following an exchange of diplomatic notes.  It has been applied on the basis of comity and reciprocity since it was negotiated on December 4, 2019.

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“Specifically, the Amendment allows US all-cargo airlines to fly between Kenya and a third nation without needing to stop in the United States, an important right if operating a cargo hub. Kenyan all-cargo carriers have reciprocal rights to serve the United States,” US department of State spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement, adding that the amendment further expands US strong economic and commercial partnership, while creating new opportunities for all-cargo airlines, exporters, and consumers. 

“It will fully open the Kenyan air cargo services market to US carriers, and represents one way in which the US Government is delivering for US all-cargo carriers and American workers,” Ms Ortagus said “This amendment is also a step forward in liberalising the international civil aviation sector in Africa – a region that has the potential to be one of the fastest growing in the world.”

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