Cargo customers will now experience cheaper transport costs and efficiency of freighting goods between Kenya and the United States.
This follows the amendment of the US-Kenya Air Transport Agreement at the Department of State in Washington, DC.
Kenya’s Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh signed the agreement on Wednesday, February 5.
“The Amendment adds seventh-freedom traffic rights for all-cargo operations to the bilateral Air Transport Agreement and will 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,” notes the statement from the office of the spokesperson.
The statement adds that the rights in the Amendment facilitate the movement of goods throughout the world by providing air carriers greater flexibility to meet their cargo and express delivery customers’ needs more efficiently.
“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,” adds the statement.
Kenyan all-cargo carriers have reciprocal rights to serve the United States.
“This Amendment further expands our 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.”
This Amendment between the United States and Kenya is also a step forward in liberalizing the international civil aviation sector in Africa – a region that has the potential to be one of the fastest-growing in the world, according to the state department.
This announcement is welcome news especially at a time when JKIA is the second-fastest-growing cargo airport in the world.
In November last year, the Airports Council International (ACI) noted in its World Airport Traffic Report, that JKIA was handing over 250,000 metric tonnes of air cargo.
The report highlights top airports for passengers, cargo and aircraft movements and showcases the world’s fastest-growing airports for 2018.
JKIA was ranked 2nd in the ‘Fastest Growing Airports category, after handling over 342,000 metric tonnes of air cargo in 2018, a 25% growth from the what was reported in the year 2017.
The airport has recently witnessed a significant boost in air cargo traffic to and from Europe, Asia, America, and most recently China and Australia.
This latest Amendment by the US can only spell even greater success for the airport.