US, Kenya sign accord to liberalize air cargo market

U.S. and Kenyan officials sign an air traffic agreement.

The U.S. and Kenya have updated their existing air transport agreement to add so-called seventh-freedom traffic rights for all-cargo operations.

The new rights give carriers greater flexibility to serve cargo and express delivery customers more efficiently and fully opens the Kenyan air cargo services market to U.S. companies, the U.S. State Department announced last week. The amendment allows U.S. all-cargo airlines to fly between Kenya and a third nation without needing to stop in the U.S., which is especially important for hub operators. Kenyan all-cargo carriers have reciprocal rights to serve the U.S.

It also allows airlines from both countries to set up and operate cargo hubs in either country.

The amendment will enter into force following an exchange of diplomatic notes, the State Department said.

Kenya is a major economy in Africa, and the air traffic agreement will make it easier for U.S. carriers and exporters to reach customers there.