Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s national flag carrier, Air Tanzania Company Ltd (ATCL), on Friday landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi after a 15-year break.
The resumption of Air Tanzania’s daily scheduled flights between the two East African neighbours, also marked the beginning of the airline’s double-daily Dar-Nairobi route.
The new development suggests that the airline is walking the talk on its fleet and network expansion plans in Africa. ATCL managing director and CEO Ladislaus Matindi said the resumption of the route was triggered by improved bilateral ties and increased trade between the two countries.
Also, he added, the move was fuelled by inter-governmental relations, tourism, extension of familial and friendly ties and the need to connect the region with other markets.
“We are extremely delighted to resume the Nairobi route, which is one of the most significant destinations in East Africa and a key aviation hub as well,” noted Mr Matindi.
“We are looking forward to cementing the relations between Tanzania and Kenya, who have been trusted friends and sincere partners for decades.”
Yesterday the airline departed Dar es Salaam at 5:30am to arrive in Nairobi at 6:45am, before flying from Nairobi at 7:45am to arrive in Dar at 9am. One could pay about Sh768,200 ($334) for a round-trip - and roughly Sh483,000 ($210) for a one way flight on the new Dar-Nairobi route.
The evening flights were expected to depart Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) at 8 p.m and arrive in Nairobi at 9:15 p.m, and JKIA at 10:15p.m to arrive in Tanzania at 11:30 p.m.
It also connects to the main flights into and out of Nairobi’s JKIA airport, allowing travelers to connect quickly, said Mr Matindi.
Apart from Nairobi, ATCL announced three new regional routes this month from Dar es Salaam to Bujumbura (Burundi), Ndola (Zambia), and Lubumbashi (DR Congo) as the country
This comes as the country seeks to expand passenger services to new markets in Africa, Asia, and Europe as international borders reopen and travel restrictions ease.
Mumbai (India), Hahaya (Comoros), Lusaka
(Zambia), Harare (Zimbabwe), Entebbe (Uganda), and Guangzhou (China) are among the destinations served by ATCL.
It will add Johannesburg (South Africa), Lagos (Nigeria),
Accra (Ghana), and London (UK) to its destinations in the coming months.
ATCL presently has eleven new modernised aircraft in its fleet.