The East African regional business and private sector watchdog on Wednesday urged the six member states of the East African Community (EAC) to fast track the opening of air transport services to boost regional trade, tourism and hospitality sectors.
The East African Business Council (EABC) said in a statement that the EAC member states of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, 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.
“Opening 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,” the statement said.
It said the EABC appreciates measures taken by the EAC member states aimed at supporting the resumption of domestic and international flights in the region, which is vital for the recovery of the aviation sector in light of the pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said, EAC member states permitted air cargo services and inventively used passenger aircraft for cargo operations, facilitating EAC exports of fresh products and mitigating the adverse impact of COVID-19.