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Emirates Airline Forced To Cancel Nairobi Flights After Kenya Backtracks On Deal
Kenyan authorities have withdrawn their approval for Dubai-based Emirates Airline to operate a third daily flight from Dubai to Nairobi, less than a week after the carrier had announced the service. It is the latest in a growing list of setbacks for the Gulf’s aviation industry and a worrying sign that some countries may do more to restrict Gulf airlines’ access in order to protect their own flag carriers.
In a statement issued on January 26, the airline confirmed that “the approval granted to operate a third daily flight between Dubai and Nairobi has been withdrawn by the Kenyan transport authorities.” No reason was given for the withdrawal.
Emirates announced the third daily flight to Nairobi on January 19, with the service due to start from June 1. Kenyan paper The Star reports that the airline was informed of the decision on January 20 in a letter from Irungu Nyakera, principal secretary at the Transport Ministry. The paper said the decision was taken following informal discussions between the authorities in Kenya and the UAE, and that Kenya now intends to review the bilateral air service agreement between the two countries.