AVIATION

KCAA denies Saudi, Ethiopian airlines expansion rights

In its latest decision on 27 licence applications, it granted 14 licenses and varied 10. One has been deferred while two variations denied.

In Summary

•Saudi Arabian Airlines had sought variation of the existing licence to include new routes of Jeddah(Saudi Arabia)-Nairobi-Maastricht (Maastricht) and Jeddah-Nairobi-Liege(Belgium).

•Ethiopian Airlines on the other hand had applied variation of existing air service licence to include aircraft type B737F. 

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority(KCAA) has denied Saudi Arabian Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines changes on key air service licenses, deaming their expansion quest mainly on cargo services.

In its latest decision on 27 licence applications, it granted 14 licenses and varied 10. One has been deferred while two variations denied.

These were “mainly renewals , variations and few new ones,” KCAA director general Gilbert Kibe told the Star yesterday.

Saudi Arabian Airlines had sought variation of the existing licence to include new routes of Jeddah(Saudi Arabia)-Nairobi-Maastricht (Maastricht) and Jeddah-Nairobi-Liege(Belgium).

Ethiopian Airlines on the other hand had applied variation of existing air service licence to include aircraft type B737F. The two were mainly targeting to expand their cargo services.

In a gazette notice dated December 13, KCAA said the licenses were “not granted,” without further explanation. Kibe yesterday noted the decisions were made on reasons, which cannot be shared with the public.

“Not for public information,” Kibe said.

Airlines seeking to change or make slight differences on their licenses, which define their operations, must apply for variation.

KCAA decision on Ethiopian Airlines is however seen to be based on safety concerns on the aircraft type, noting that in 2010, the airline's Boeing 737-800 passenger plane exploded after taking off from Lebanon, killing 83 passengers and seven crew members.

In March this year, its Boeing 737 Max-8 crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa, killing all on board.

Saudi Arabian Airlines however has been allowed to operate international non-scheduled all cargo air service on 13 major routes among them Jeddah-Nairobi-Jeddah and Jeddah-Nairobi-Moscow.

It can also service the, without traffic rights between, Nairobi and Eldoret-Johannesburg-Addis Ababa-Dar-esSalaam-N’djamena-Lagos-Kano-Khartoum-Niamey and vice versa using aircraft types B777F, B747-800F and B747-400F based at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

“Licence granted for two years with effect from January 14 , 2019 without the routes Jeddah/Nairobi/Liege, Jeddah/Nairobi/Maastricht,” KCAA said in the notice.

Ethiopian Airlines has been granted a two-years license, with effect from October 3, 2019 to operate international non-scheduled all cargo air service on the routes Addis Ababa-Nairobi- Addis Ababa and Liege- Nairobi-Addis Ababa using aircraft types B737-800F and B7 77-200F based at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, “without aircraft type B737-800F.”

Other airlines granted licenses include Smartwings Poland which will mainly operate tour charters flights to Mombasa, a boot to the tourism sector. The company has a one year licence effective December 9.

Tanzania based-Regional Air Services Limited has also been granted rights to operate non-scheduled air service for passengers between designated entry-exit points in Kenya and Tanzania.

Licenses that have been allowed variation inlcude Pro Flight Limited,Aberdair Aviation Limited,

Aerolink Flight Centre Limited, SAC (K) Limited, HAMCO Aviation Limited and Governors Aviation Limited.

Others are Renegade Air Limited, Penial Air Limited and Westwind Avaition Limited which has also been granted a three-year license.

Jambojet has been granted a three-year licence to operate non-scheduled air service for passengers, cargo and mail within, out of, into Kenya to from points in Africa, rest of the world which also incoude its existing routes. It licence is effective December 17.

Vintage Air Charters Limited, Bonge Air Services Limited, Level Up Limited ,Lady Lori Helicopters Limited and Ocean Airlines Limited have all been granted one year licenses to operate in the country and beyond.

Capital Airlines Limited, Flight Training Centre Limited, Seven Four Eight Air Services (K) Limited and Capital Connect Aviation Supplies Limited have also been licensed.

The licence application for Imatong Airlines Limited has however been deferred. It sought to operate Non-scheduled air service for passengers and cargo within the country.