Last week, it came to light that Kenya’s National Assembly had resolved to nationalise the struggling Kenya Airways in a bid to rescue the ailing airline which has been turning up losses on the books for years on end.
By all accounts, the new nationalisation plan was to mirror much more successful national carriers like Ethiopian Airlines, in the hopes that similar successes will be achieved and the country’s national carrier will finally be out of the woods.
Although no concrete agreement has been reached, the talks of nationalisation did offer an opening to other air carriers and before long, Emirates Airlines was looking to pounce.
The airliner had asked to be allowed to do a third daily flight into Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, pending finalisation of nationalisation discussions. But several days on, nothing happened and it seemed that those involved were carefully scrutinizing the options or just dragging their feet.
Well, all the speculation ended today when it was gathered that the country may indeed be holding off on a decision as it tries to buy more time for the troubled KQ, and perhaps finally reach a decision on what to do.
As things stand, Kenya is keeping Emirates Airlines waiting as it tries to decide what to do with the national carrier, though efforts are being made to ensure that Kenya Airways does get back in shape.
The country is delaying on a decision whether or not to grant the UAE carrier a third daily flight to Nairobi until the nationalisation plan for the ailing Kenya Airways has been finalised.
Today, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary (PS), Macharia Kamau, said the delay was meant to ensure future air agreements with other countries also take into consideration the position of the national carrier.
“We do have a technical issue; it is actually a political issue that needs to be sorted… the National Assembly, as you may know, has recommended that our airline needs to be structured. Because of that issue of our airline restructuring, we cannot make any decision for now,” said Macharia, as reported by Business Daily.
Macharia is said to have made this statement after a meeting with a delegation from the United Arab Emirates led by UAE Ambassador to Kenya Khalid alMualla. The meeting also featured the signing of various bilateral agreements under an arrangement known as the Joint Commission on Cooperation (JCC).
Khalid alMualla and Macharia Kamau signed a number of agreements which are expected to give the green light for a number of perks, including sharing diplomatic training, sharing data on labour recruitment organisations, and combating human trafficking.
However, an amended aviation cooperation agreement which would have allowed Emirates Airlines to fly to Nairobi three times daily — up from the current two times — was not signed as both parties couldn’t adopt a line of action on that front.
The Kenyan Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary gave no hints as to whether or not the other bilateral air arrangements between both countries will be affected by the outcome of the meeting but he did suggest that no decisions will be made until it becomes clear what becomes of Kenya Airways.
Featured Image Courtesy; guardian.ng