Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will expand its African route network with the launch of a daily service to Dar es Salaam in Kenya.
Flights between Abu Dhabi and Dar es Salaam, which commence on December 1 this year, will be operated using Airbus A320 aircraft with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats.
Dar es Salaam will be Etihad Airways’ 110th destination globally, and its eleventh destination in Africa. The daily schedule will offer two-way connectivity over Etihad Airways’ hub in Abu Dhabi, with onward connections to 45 destinations across the Middle East, Europe, the Indian sub-continent, North and South-east Asia and Australasia.
In particular, it is anticipated demand for the new route will be boosted by strong flows of business and leisure travellers, as well as cargo volumes, between the East African region and the Indian sub-continent and China.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Dar es Salaam is an important new route on Etihad Airways’ global network. It builds on our existing presence in Africa and supports the close trading relationship between the UAE and Tanzania.”
The UAE is the primary trade partner of Tanzania in the GCC region. Between 2007 and 2012 trade between UAE and Tanzania increased by more than 350% to US$761 million.
“Africa has one of the world’s fastest growing regional economies and the launch of this new route also enhances access and the two-way flow of trade and tourism between the continent and key destinations across our global network, supports inbound tourism, encourages investment, and provides much needed local employment,” he added.
Tanzania has the sixth largest population in Africa (51 million), with over four million people living in the largest city, Dar es Salaam. The large proportion of the community consist of market traders and proprietors of small businesses whose families originated from the Middle East and Indian sub-continent—areas of the world with which the settlements on the Tanzanian coast have had long-standing trading relations.
The country is also developing quickly, and currently has around US$19 billion in transport and utilities infrastructure projects being planned. China is playing a key role in financing these major projects and is fast becoming the East African country’s leading trade partner, with trade between the two countries growing to US$3,7 billion in 2013.
In 2013, Tanzania was also named one of the world’s most sought after destinations for leisure travelers. The country has numerous national and international tourist attractions including Mount Kilimanjaro, the wildlife-rich national parks of the Serengeti and the spice island of Zanzibar.
Tanzania has the second largest economy in East Africa, and Dar es Salaam provides a strategic gateway for the transportation of goods and commerce to the surrounding six land-locked countries of Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.