Arusha. Fastjet Tanzania starts flying between Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) and Entebbe in Uganda tomorrow as the budget airline cements its presence in the region’s growing aviation sector.
The Dar es Salaam-based airline is deploying its Airbus A319 on the route in a move that also seeks to promote KIA as one of Tanzania’s most promising international gateways, surrounded by the country’s tourism hotspots of Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, the Mount Kilimanjaro as well as the Arusha National Park on Mount Meru terrains.
“We will offer three flights each week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – on the route,” the airline’s general manager Mr Jimmy Kibati said here at the weekend.
He said the decision to turn KIA into one of its bases in the country also stems from the fact that the airport is close to Arusha which is the headquarters of the East African Community (EAC).
“It is in this belief that we are also introducing flights between KIA and Mwanza starting from March 30, 2015 (today) where we will offer four weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays,” he said.
In the endeavour to meet its goal of being a truly pan-African budget airline, a number of international destinations are on the Fastjet’s cards, with the Dar es Salaam-Nairobi route – which is currently a monopoly of Kenya Airways - ranking high on the agenda.
Currently, the two-year old airline operates domestic flights from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, Kilimanjaro and Mbeya as well as to Johannesburg, Lusaka and Harare in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe on the international scene.