By Boniface Otieno Kanyamwaya
A study on “The Costs and Benefits of Open Skies in the East African Community (EAC)” undertaken by East African Business Council (EABC) and the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the Department for International Development (DFID) and the East African Research Fund (EARF) indicates that liberalisation of air transport between the five EAC countries will create 46,320 jobs and US$ 202.1 million in Gross Domestic Product across the region.
According to the study, liberalization of Air Transport contributes to greater trade and tourism, inward investment, productivity growth, increased employment and economic development.
Furthermore, full liberalization of restricted routes leads to 9 per cent lower average fares and a 41 per cent increase in frequencies, which in turn stimulate passenger demand.
“EAC should harmonize air transport regulations specifically taxes across the region and finalize the EAC Liberalization of Air Transport Regulations also fully implement Yamoussoukro Decision,” said Lilian Awinja, EABC Chief Executive Officer during a meeting to validate the findings of the study