NAIROBI -- The East African Business Council (EABC) on Wednesday urged the East African Community (EAC) partner states to fast track re-opening of the air transport services in order to boost regional trade, tourism and hospitality sectors.
Peter Mathuki, executive director and CEO of EABC, a regional business lobby, said that during the current COVID-19 pandemic, EAC member states permitted air cargo services and inventively used passenger aircraft for cargo operations which have facilitated exports of fresh produces and mitigated the impact of COVID-19 on the economies.
"The EAC Partner States need to come up with regional coordinated guidelines and measures on the opening of the regional aviation sector to bolster consumer confidence and support the recovery of the sector," Mathuki said in a statement.
Tanzania resumed international flights on May 18. Rwanda restarted chartered flights on June 18 and Kenya has planned to open domestic air travel on July 15, while international flights in Kenya and Rwanda are expected to resume on August 1.
Mathuki said that the reopening of the regional aviation sector will stimulate economic activities not only in the sector but also in the tourism sector which has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.