Tanzania’s national airline has resumed operations between Dar es Salaam and Kenya‘s capital Nairobi after not flying to the neighboring country for two decades.
Air Tanzania landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Friday and resumed daily flights between the two East African countries.
The arrival of the new state-of-the-art Airbus A220-300 early Friday morning in Nairobi marks the start of the airline’s two-day route from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi, which is of strategic importance for the airline’s fleet and network expansion plans in Africa.
Managing Director and CEO of Air Tanzania, Eng. Ladislaus Matindi said they had resumed flights on the route after improved bilateral relations, increased trade between the two countries, international relations, tourism, developing family and friendly ties and the need to connect the region with other markets.
“We are very excited to resume the Nairobi route, which is one of the most important destinations in East Africa and also an important aviation hub,” he said.
“We look forward to strengthening the relationship between Tanzania and Kenya, who have been trusted friends and sincere partners for decades, with this non-stop flight service.”
Air Tanzania will fly the Airbus A220-300, a 132 seater with 12 business class seats and 120 economy class seats, known for its unrivaled comfort for aircraft of its category.
According to Air Tanzania, the airline will leave Dar-es-Salaam at 5:30 a.m. to arrive in Nairobi at 6:45 a.m. and leave Nairobi at 7.45 a.m. to arrive in Dar at 9 a.m. one way on the new Dar-Nairobi route.
The evening flights depart from Julius Nyerere International Airport at 8:00 p.m. and arrive in Nairobi at 9:15 p.m. and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 10:15 p.m. arriving in Tanzania at 11:30 p.m.
Mr Matindi said the flight schedule was created with passenger comfort in mind so that one person could fly to both destinations on business and fly home on the same day, so there is no additional cost for an overnight stay.
“The idea was to make sure our airline connects the two cities so that travelers can easily do business,” he added.
In addition to Nairobi, this month Air Tanzania announced three new regional routes from Dar es Salaam to Bujumbura (Burundi), Ndola (Zambia) and Lubumbashi (DR Congo).
Tanzania is keen to expand passenger traffic to new markets in Africa, Asia and Europe as international borders reopen and travel restrictions eased.
It currently serves Mumbai (India), Hahaya (Comoros), Lusaka (Zambia), Harare (Zimbabwe), Entebbe (Uganda) and Guangzhou (China).
The airline plans to add Johannesburg (South Africa), Lagos (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana) and London (UK) to its destinations in the coming months.
Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) currently has 11 new aircraft in its fleet, eight of which have been added in the past three years, including five Bombardiers Q400s, four Airbus A220-300s and two Boeing 787-800 Dreamliners.
ATCL has also ordered an additional six aircraft for $ 726 million, including a Bombadier Q 400, two Boeing 737-900s, two Boeing 787-800 Dreamliners, and a Boeing 767 freighter, all of which will be added to the fleet within the fleet next two years.