Sunday, December 17, 2017

Flydubai launches debut flight to Kilimanjaro

Dubai-based low-cost carrier flydubai said it has become the first UAE airline to provide direct air links to the Tanzanian city of Kilimanjaro, thus expanding its network in Africa to 12 destinations with 14 flights a week.

With this launch, the Dubai budget airline is offering six flights a week to the Tanzanian city, three of which are via a stop in the capital, Dar es Salaam.

The inaugural flight of flydubai touched down yesterday (December 15) landed in Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) at 7.45am (local time) carrying a delegation led by Sudhir Sreedharan, the senior VP, Commercial Operations (GCC, Subcontinent and Africa) for flydubai.

It was met on arrival by Prof Makame Mbarawa MB, Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Gregory George Teu, Chairman of the Board of Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO), the Board of Directors of the Kadco, the Regional Commissioners for Kilimanjaro and Arusha, representatives of the District Commissioners, Members of Parliament, Tanzania Tourist Board, together with representatives of the local tourism industry.

As part of the inaugural programme, flydubai showcased its brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, which had been unveiled for the first time at the Dubai Airshow in November.

The service to Kilimanjaro sees the total number of flydubai’s destinations in Tanzania increase to three, along with Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, said the statement from flydubai.

The carrier began operations to Tanzania in 2014 and has become increasingly popular among travellers from Dubai and the GCC as a tourist destination, and is seeing a steady growth in passenger numbers, it stated.

The airport is located in Northern Tanzania and is a major gateway to the Kilimanjaro region, a main international tourism destination that includes Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park.

Only a few international carriers operate to Kilimanjaro and flydubai will be the first airline to provide direct air links from the UAE.

CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said: "With our debut service to Kilimanjaro, we are responding to a growing demand for travel between the UAE and Tanzania. flydubai is the first UAE airline to offer direct air links to Kilimanjaro with the aim to connect this market to Dubai and beyond, and offer travellers more choice and flexibility."

"Passengers will have the opportunity to connect from Dubai onwards to more than 250 destinations" he added.

Lauding the new operations, Makame said: "I am very glad to welcome flydubai to our ‘Gateway to Africa’s Wildlife Heritage’. On behalf of the Government and the Kadco Management we would like to thank you for working tirelessly together to make this new service possible and no doubt this route will be a success.”

On the debut flight, Sreedharan said: “This marks our 12th destination in our network in Africa and the third point in Tanzania. Our service to Kilimanjaro follows an increase in passenger demand and reflects flydubai’s commitment to open up underserved markets."

"We look forward to offering six weekly flights on this route and to connecting travellers from across flydubai’s network with the Kilimanjaro region and vice versa," he noted.

Emirates will codeshare on this route and as part of the Emirates flydubai partnership, passengers will have greater choice for onward travel from Dubai to hundreds of destinations across the world.

Presently flydubai operates flights to twelve destinations in Africa, including Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Asmara, Djibouti, Entebbe, Hargeisa, Juba, Khartoum and Port Sudan, as well as Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.-TradeArabia News Service

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