July 17, 2024

African nations to relax visa restrictions, push for more direct flights

Kenya and Angola have become the latest African countries to announce plans to ease visa restrictions as part of efforts to improve air connectivity and spur bilateral trade.

The move follows a similar agreement announced earlier this month between neighbors Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Kenya-Angola pact was confirmed after talks in Nairobi between Kenyan President William Ruto and his Angola counterpart João Lourenço.

Ruto says trade between the nations has been on the rise in the past four years, but more needs to be done to unlock the underlying potential.

To encourage the resumption of direct air service, a visa-free regime is being put in place to ease the free movement of people.

Angolans coming to Kenya will not require a visa, Ruto says. Angola will equally consider the same for Kenyans.

The plans come as Angola prepares to welcome the opening of a new $3.8 billion airport in Luanda.

Agostinho Neto International Airport, located about 26 mi. from the center of Luanda, will include a terminal building capable of handling 15 million passengers per year, a 13,780-ft. northern runway and 12,467-ft. southern runway, as well as a hotel, shops and restaurants.

The first phase will also be able to handle 130,000 tons of cargo annually.

Speaking to Aviation Week in September, Coordinator of the Operational Office of the New Luanda International Airport José Paulo Nobrega says the new airport will be a powerful economic driver.

Its operation will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs, the creation of the airport city will be a center for development in our city, focusing on sustainability and urban mobility, he adds.

Earlier this month, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo also agreed to adopt a visa-free regime, as well as signing a memorandum of understanding to increase trade.

Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are linked by one nonstop route at present, with Uganda Airlines offering five flights per week between Entebbe, Uganda, and Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, using CRJ 900s.

The post African nations to relax visa restrictions, push for more direct flights appeared first on Travel And Tour World.   To encourage the resumption of direct air service, a visa-free regime is being put in place to ease the free movement of people.
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