HomeBusinessAir Tanzania resumes Harare-Dar es Salaam flights

Air Tanzania resumes Harare-Dar es Salaam flights

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AIR Tanzania has resumed its twice-a-week Dar-es-Salaam-Harare flights, becoming one of the first airlines to return to the skies after a six-month hiatus precipitated by the outbreak of COVID-19.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

The airline’s flights into Harare resumed on Tuesday this week and will run every Tuesday and Friday, connecting Harare and Dar-es-Salaam through Lusaka in Zambia.

Governments instructed airlines to ground flights globally at the height of the pandemic in March as they battled to limit its spread.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a blanket lockdown of business on March 30.

This forced domestic and foreign airlines to stop flights into the country.

But last month, Cabinet announced a staggered reopening of businesses, including the resumption of domestic flights on September 1.

International flights followed on October 1 just as hotels and other tourism industry players returned to full-scale operations under strict World Health Organisation guidelines that are meant to curtail the spread of the virus.

“We are thrilled to be resuming the Lusaka-Harare flights, this south-bound route connects both Lusaka and Harare businesspeople, tourists and academics to the port city of Dar-es-Salaam and beyond,” Air Tanzania said in a statement.

“As with the new normal, this flight will be operated under new health protocols,” the statement added.

Across Africa, major airports have reopened and in countries like Tanzania, international tourists have started arriving at key destinations such as Mount Kilimanjaro.

In Zimbabwe, the tourism sector is expected to dip by up to 98% this year, as a result of the six-month closure of operations.

But industry captains see the resumption of flights as key towards reviving the industry.

Air Tanzania is the national airline of Tanzania, which operates across Africa from its base in Dar-es-Salaam.

The company was established in 1977 following the dissolution of East African Airways and has been a member of the African Airlines Association since inception.

The airline has eight aircraft, with four Dash 8-Q400, two Airbus A220-300s and two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.

With an improved fleet, it is confident to regain its position as a serious competitor in the air transport market, according to a statement released recently.

It is undertaking a fleet and network expansion programme that includes serving domestic destinations in Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Dodoma and Kigoma.

More destinations are expected in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States.

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