In Summary
  • Burundi said that it was unhappy with the planned deployment of Bombardier DHC8-Q400 aircraft on the Nairobi-Bujumbura route.

  • It wants immediate replacement of the aircraft for “a more convenient type, for the sake of Burundi State authorities’ travel conditions.”

  • In response, Jambojet’s mother company Kenya Airways (KQ)  yesterday (Sunday) blocked the booking of flights on the Nairobi-Bujumbura route.

A diplomatic row has erupted between Burundi and Kenya after Bujumbura demanded that Kenya Airways’ low-cost partner, Jambojet, deploy a bigger aircraft with business class seats for flights to the central African nation.

In a letter to Jambojet’s chief executive, Willem Hondius, Burundi said that it was unhappy with the planned deployment of Bombardier DHC8-Q400 aircraft on the Nairobi-Bujumbura route, terming it unbefitting of the status of government officials travelling to Nairobi for connecting flights to other parts of the world.

REPLACEMENT

It wants immediate replacement of the aircraft for “a more convenient type, for the sake of Burundi State authorities’ travel conditions.”

People familiar with the matter said the demand has delayed commencement of the budget carrier’s Nairobi-Bujumbura flights that were to take off last Wednesday.

“I would like to kindly inform you, as I informed your partner Kenya Airways before, that our high State officials travel to the world mainly via Nairobi and need to be treated in business class conditions that are acceptable considering their rank,” said Burundi’s minister of Transport, Public Works, Equipment and Land Use, Jean-Bosco Ntunzwenimana.

In response, Jambojet’s mother company Kenya Airways (KQ)  yesterday (Sunday) blocked the booking of flights on the Nairobi-Bujumbura route, heightening tensions between the two countries. KQ flies to Kigali via Bujumbura.

DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS

Flights between two countries are first negotiated between states, which then grant airlines the rights to fly into their territories.

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