However, the fully negotiated ones were 8 air service agreements that were signed by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, James Macharia, on behalf of the Kenyan government.
They included Cambodia, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Turkey, Seychelles, Greece, Finland and Burkina Faso.
The Kenyan delegation met with 33 countries namely, Cambodia, Chile, Cabo Verde, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Jordan, Turkey, DRC, Portugal, Mozambique, UAE, USA, Saudi Arabia, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Switzerland, Colombia, UK, Namibia, Dominican Republic, Iran, Italy, Qatar, Germany, Seychelles, Spain, Greece, Finland, Burkina Faso and Oman.
The negotiations that came to an end on Friday evening centered on reviewing existing air service agreements, crafting new agreements and conclusion of already ratified agreements.
Delegations from 70 countries around the world gathered in Nairobi since Monday to negotiate air service agreements at the 11th International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) air services negotiation event (ICAN2018).
Captain Gilbert Kibe, Director General of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, said the number of agreements negotiated signifies the attractiveness of Kenya for business, tourism, and trade that will be enabled through aviation.
“Kenya is playing a central role in strengthening air transport connectivity while attracting huge interest geared to cementing business and investment partnerships with these countries through aviation. It will enable the local airlines to expand into new routes, grow their market reach, increase frequencies and capacity. Further this will enhance connectivity, facilitate tourism, international trade, create jobs and generate economic growth for Kenya,” said Capt. Kibe in a statement on Saturday.
Through KCAA, Kenya achieved may firsts by convening delegations from 71 countries; facilitating 400 signed agreements.
There were 550 negotiators who held 480 negotiation meetings and a total of 1200 participants.
These agreements enable airlines to expand their existing route networks by directly operating scheduled services to other markets. The agreements will allow airlines to offer services where they were previously unable to, as well as enter into commercial arrangements such as code share agreements.
This allows the airlines to grow the demand in other markets by putting their code on other carriers thereby offering seamless connectivity to the traveling public.
“The event provided a formidable platform of networking for all aviation stakeholders further underpinning the importance of aviation as being at the core of enabling commerce and thriving of world tourism. With the five-day negotiations, we are hopeful that it will culminate in enhanced connectivity between Kenya and the rest of the world. Hence to realize the full benefits of these negotiations, will be full implementation of the agreements committed to by the different states”, added Capt. Kibe.
ICAN 2018 further provided a platform for more Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) member states to commit to implementing the agreement to liberalize their air space.
Gambia and Mozambique signed the Memorandum of Implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision.