• Media reports indicated Kenya Airways was contesting a government deal allowing Ethiopian Airlines to operate passenger planes grounded by the coronavirus to ship cargo.
• According to Ethiopian Airlines, there are many airlines which are loading cargo on passenger airplanes out of Kenya.
Ethiopian Airlines has refuted claims it has a deal with Kenyan authorities allowing it to operate passenger planes for shipment of cargo.
This follows reports in the local media that Kenya Airways is contesting a government deal allowing Ethiopian Airlines to operate passenger planes grounded by the coronavirus to ship cargo from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport ( JKIA) in Nairobi to Europe and Asia.
According to the media reports, Kenya Airways said the new deal will give the rival carrier “undue advantage in a period when Kenya has frozen international passenger travel in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, leaving cargo as the only revenue driver.”
In a statement seen by the Star, Ethiopian Airlines says it has not made any special deal with the Kenyan aeronautical authorities as alleged by part of the media.
“Like all other airlines flying to Kenya, Ethiopian Airlines has a landing permit to load cargo both on passenger and cargo planes. Currently, there are many airlines which are loading cargo on passenger planes out of Kenya,” the airline's management notes.
The airline is concerned why it is being singled out as the only airline loading cargo in a passenger plane, while several non-African Airlines are doing so.
“This is an unfair attack on a neighbourly and sister African airline which jeopardizes much-needed cooperation between and among African airlines,” management said through its Nairobi office.