Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s tourism sector will receive a vital boost this month as two commercial airlines resume flying on international routes to and from Dar es Salaam.
While Ethiopian Airlines resumed its Dar es Salaam-Addis Ababa flights yesterday, Qatar Airways will resume its Dar es Salaam-Doha flights on June 6.
The government, through Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), suspended all international passenger flights due to the Covid-19 pandemic - but, it exempted Cargo flights from the ban.
However, the government lifted the ban on May 18, allowing both scheduled and non-scheduled international flights to resume following a drop in Covid-19 cases.
TCAA director general Hamza Johari said the move by the two airlines to resume their international flights to and from Dar es Salaam was good for the country.
“This is good news for Tanzania… It simply means that people can now travel to different destinations after a temporary restriction due to the coronavirus,” he told The Citizen yesterday.
This also comes at a time when Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) has also shown interest in resuming its international passenger flights.
The Tanzania Airport Authority director general, Mr Julius Ndyamukama, told The Citizen yesterday that resumption of international flights was a sign that businesses were beginning to recover from Covid-19.
“The resumption will save jobs that were on the brink of being lost due to the novel virus,” he said, noting that all preparations were in according with the World Health Organisation guidelines.
The resumption adds new hope to tourism stakeholders, with the Tanzania Tourists Board managing director, Ms Devota Mdachi, saying it was a move in the right direction at a time when the market was still very much open.
“Countries which have eased their travel restrictions are allowing their citizens to travel out of their countries - and this is a good sign that the tourism business will now reopen,” she said.