In what appears to be a plan to protect Kenya Airways, Kenyan Ministry of Transport has withdrawn commercial rights for Emirates to operate a third daily flight to Kenya reports The Star.
The government intends to review the existing Bilateral Air Service Agreement with the United Arabs Emirates "to ensure parity in the exercise of rights granted by the Air Service Agreement".
Transport Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera, in a letter dated January 20, 2017, told Emirates Airlines executive secretary in Nairobi Carolyne Kyule that the decision was reached after an informal discussion between the aeronautical authorities of Kenya and the UAE.
"Our earlier approval for flight EK 717/718 is subsequently withdrawn," the letter copied to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and the Kenya Airports Authority management reads in part.
"In this regard, the republic of Kenya is unable to grant a third daily passenger frequency to Emirates Airline before the review," Nyakera says in the letter.
“I believe the bilateral air service agreement is aimed at ensuring we have a more equitable share of routes. Anyway ours is just to implement what the government has said,” Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Director General Gilbert Kibe told the Star.
Emirates third daily flight to Nairobi was set to begin on June 1, 2017. It currently flies twice daily between Dubai and Nairobi using the Boeing 777-300ER.