What you need to know:
- The resumption will see the airline fly four weekly direct flights from its Istanbul’s hub using Airbus A330-300, comes two years after the airline suspended its operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dar es Salaam. Turkish Airlines has with effect from Wednesday, June 22 resumed direct flights from Istanbul to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).
The resumption that will see the airline fly four weekly direct flights from its Istanbul’s hub using Airbus A330-300, comes two years after the airline suspended its operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Officiating the recommencement of the flights, deputy minister for Works and Transport Atupele Mwakibete said the new development is a vote of confidence in Tanzania as a safe destination for business and leisure.
He acknowledged the government’s efforts under President Samia Suluhu Hassan for launching the Royal Tour film which will contribute significantly to the growth of tourism and investment.
“The Turkish Airlines has resumed its operations at KIA at the right time since the government has invested a lot in marketing the country’s attractions and investments which we believe will drive the demand of air transport,” said Mr Mwakibete.
Adding: “The resumption of this long-haul route is an important catalyst for the country’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
He exuded optimism that Turkish Airlines will bring Kilimanjaro with much easier reach to passengers from Istanbul and the rest of the world.
“This will be an incredible boost to our economy and particularly the tourism industry,” he said.
Kilimanjaro and its neighboring regions of Tanga, Arusha and Manyara host some of the most unique and important tourist attraction sites in the country.
Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (Kadco) board chairperson Natu mwamba said: “The importance of this direct route from Istanbul to Kilimanjaro cannot be taken for granted.”
According to Dr Mwamba the resumption of the Turkish operations will stimulate the market and multiply the number of passengers traveling to the country.
This, she added, will therefore support the government’s strategic objective of increasing the annual number of tourists from 1.4 million recorded last year to 5 million come 2025.
“Direct flights from Istanbul to KIA will make Tanzania even more attractive destination for tourists from Europe and the rest of the world,” said Dr Mwamba.
Further, she added, the flight route will reinforce the trade between Tanzania and Turkey.
Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara regions are among the top exporters of perishables and gemstones in Tanzania.
As it is, Tanzanian exporters will now have more options and capacity to export their products overseas.
The resumed Turkish Airline operations at Kia will inject more revenues to Kadco and its stakeholders in the aviation and tourism sectors.
“The resumption of the direct flight will flourish the long time diplomatic relationship between Tanzania and Turkey,” concluded Dr Mwamba.