Opinion: Why The East African Community Needs To Ease Air Travel

Opinion: Why The East African Community Needs To Ease Air Travel

Kenya Airways Photo: wbs.ug

By Oscar Kimanuka | From The New Times Via AllAfrica

Air travel is becoming a basic requirement for a fast-growing regional population that needs more resources and cross-border cooperation to meet the ever-increasing needs resulting from the integration process of the East African Community.

There is already significant leveraging of various regional programmes in the promotion of trade and investments as well as development of regional infrastructure.

We have seen our road networks continuously taking shape, the ongoing standard Gauge Railway that would run from Mombasa to Kigali is on course, ships from Mombasa to Dar es Salam and even boats cruising from Kenyan to Ugandan and Tanzanian shores frequently if not on a daily basis.

On the other hand, our air travel remains a gold coated business that still to date only attracts the haves if I may say. The industry seemingly carries on with the ancient notion of the flights being for the elite.

Unfortunately, this happens while there is an increasing number of businessmen, the unsung heroes of our integration, engaged in cross-border trade and our producers or consumers in the region breaking down the barriers between them and in constant quest for all modes of transport.

However, these hardworking traders are often scared away by our own airlines generally due to ever hiking prices as a result of what is said to be exorbitant fuel and aeroplane landing fees.

Lack of direct flights between major our towns is another major problem. Therefore, passengers or investors who do not either have the time or money to surmount these challenges choose to shy away from using air transport.

Read more at AllAfrica