He who has never denied himself for the sake of giving has but glanced at the joys of Charity. But, as we all know, Charity always begins at home, yet, it is the opposite in Kenya.
The Transport ministry has dismissed Kenya Airways petition seeking to overturn a government deal allowing Ethiopian Airlines to operate passenger planes grounded by coronavirus for shipment of cargo from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi to Europe and Asia.
On April 6, the Ministry of Transport allowed Ethiopian Airlines to fly cargo using six of its passenger planes from Mombasa to Nairobi and Asia and Europe, posing a threat to the Kenya Airways (KQ) cargo business.
Ethiopian Airlines is expected to ship fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers and meat which are currently scarce in Europe.
“Reference is made to your letter this is to advise you that approval is granted to Ethiopian Airlines to operate as cargo flights from April 3 to October 25,” said a letter signed by the director of air services, Nicholas Bodo to Ethiopian Airlines.
KQ flew its first-ever passenger aircraft as cargo-only flights on April 12 carrying medical supplies and essential goods from Nairobi to Johannesburg using B787-8 Dreamliner.
According to Business Daily Africa, loss-making KQ has 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.
It later emerged on April 10th that Ethiopian Airlines refuted claims it had a deal with Kenyan authorities allowing it to operate passenger planes for shipment of cargo.
“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. 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.
Local aviation players led by Kenya Airways have protested a recent move by Kenya Civil Aviation Authority that saw Ethiopian Airways granted a permit to operate 5 ad-hoc cargo flights between Nairobi and Europe.
The national carrier chairman Michael Joseph said: “Objections were raised by local players over the move by KCAA to allow Ethiopian Airways to conduct ad-hoc flights from Nairobi to Europe.”
“We would like to strongly object to the application for ad-hoc flights by Ethiopian Airlines to operate from Nairobi directly to Liege,” another operator was quoted by Nation.
However, on Wednesday 7th May, CS James Macharia termed as “fundamentally misplaced” a complaint by Kenya Airways (KQ) against the decision to grant its rival the lucrative cargo deal.
In the petition, the loss-making KQ said the deal will give the rival carrier undue advantage in a period when Kenya has frozen international passenger travels leaving cargo as the only revenue driver.
“Kenya Airways has only two cargo freighters, one of which is currently undergoing heavy maintenance. These freighters, however, fly short distances and cannot, therefore, fly to Europe. The complaint, therefore, by KQ, and I have told them, was fundamentally misplaced,” Mr Macharia told the Senate Transport committee in a virtual meeting yesterday.
CS Macharia reckons that KQ cannot lift between 2,000 to 3,000 metric tonnes at its full capacity.
“The current capacity requirement for lifting cargo is between 3,500 and 4,500 metric tonnes, while the available capacity is 1,500 metric tonnes. Based on the capacity deficit, there is a need to allow for additional capacity to service sectors of the economy such as fresh/produce and flowers,” said Mr Macharia in the brief to the Kiambu senator Kimani Wamatangi-led committee.
KQ chief executive Allan Kilavuka said earlier the carrier was not consulted on the impact that the Ethiopian Airlines deal would have on its business.
KQ is banking on the cargo business, which generates about Sh11 billion annually, to pay salaries and utilities like security, water and electricity. KQ is also seeking a multibillion-shilling government bailout after the grounding of its planes.
Since I started with Charity
**Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it.**