Sunday, September 30, 2012

► BURUNDI: United Arab Emirates & Burundi sign Air Services Agreement MOU.

Burundian Government The Burundian Government and the United Arab Emirates, last week signed an air services Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and initialled an Air Services Agreement 'ASA', which could lead to the start of bilateral air services between the two countries, sometime in the future.

The agreement was initialed by The United Arab Emirates represented by the General Civil Aviation Authority's Executive Director of Strategy and International Affairs, Laila Ali Bin Hareb, and Albert Maniratunga, the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Burundi, acting on behalf of the Burundian government. 
"Ms. Hareb stressed the importance of open sky agreements like the one signed with Burundi, which will contribute to boost the trade, tourism and investment between UAE and Burundi, taking into account that now the Designated Carriers of the UAE and Burundi can operate direct services between the two countries."
Source [AME info]

Bujumbura International Airport
Bujumbura International Airport (irakoze)
Under the agreement, the UAE's designated carriers (Emirates (EK), Etihad Airways (EY), Air Arabia (G9), RAK Airways (RT) and FlyDubai (FZ)) along with Burundi's designated carrier, Air Burundi (8Y) will have the right to perform scheduled air services between the two countries in addition to allowing full flexibility on the routes, capacity, number of frequencies and types of aircraft used, in any type of service be it 'passenger or cargo' and to also allows for  unrestricted non-scheduled/charter operations between the two countries.

If and when a scheduled service  is to start between the two countries is open to speculation. 

Last year, Burundi finalized a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with Turkey, which leaves the door open for Turkish carrier Turkish Airlines (TK) to start flights between Istanbul and Bujumbura; an offer it has yet to take up. However, with the race on between the Middle Eastern carriers (Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad and Gulf Air) and Turkish Airlines to get their foot into the African market door, it could be only a mater of time before Bujumbura sees greater international service.

Thanks to Bigogwe Masaka for his contribution here.