THE Air France, which is part of the Air France-KLM Group, has resumed flights to Zanzibar with Ministers from both Zanzibar and union government appealing to more international airlines to join the suit.
While the France airline seeks to further strengthen its presence in the East Africa region, authorities say more flights to mainland and Zanzibar will boost the tourism industry which was hard-hit by COVID-19 in the past two years.
“Welcome back. We are happy Air France has resumed its flight to Tanzania after some years of suspension,” Prof Makame Mbarawa - Minister of Works, Transport and Communications said shortly after receiving the Air France at the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA).
Air France will operate two flights a week on Tuesday and Saturday between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Zanzibar starting October 19, 2021.
The rising number of tourists’ visiting Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, not just from Europe but also the rest of the world, signifies the growing interest in the unique experiences the countries have to offer.
Speaking at the colorful reception of the plane which landed with 175 passengers, Professor Mbarawa said the government remains committed to improving infrastructure to attract more flights with the interest of boosting the country’s economy as regards to increased tourists.
“Zanzibar is one of the islands blessed with many opportunities including trade and investment so the re-start of Air France,” the Minister said adding that the plane was a great opportunity so he urged all those who will have the opportunity to serve the airline and others, to work with great integrity so that more tourists come and contribute to the country’s economy The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ms Lela Mohamed Mussa, said the government would ensure that they follow all health procedures to ensure that visitors remain safe against COVID-19 as she says that more planes ferrying tourists would be a great opportunity for Zanzibar to get back to tourism, the ;leading contributor to the national income.
Earlier, the Isles Minister of Trade and Industry Development, Mr Omar Said Shaabani, said the Air France flights to Zanzibar would expand the trade and investment movement as well as boost the tourism industry in the country.
“This is an opportunity to attract more visitors for tourism, investment and trade. We commend the French airline for its decision to travel to Zanzibar,” he stated.
The Minister for Economy, Investment and Labour Mr Mudrick Ramadhan Soraga said the government would like to assure all investors of a conducive environment and support, “Let us hope more airlines will have connections to Zanzibar.” Ms Rahma Kassim Ali- Minister for Infrastructure, Communication, and Transport said at the reception, “We are committed to maintain our airport and services so that both domestic, regional, and International airlines and travelers get the best services.”
The France Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Mr Franck Riester said the ongoing improvement of passenger safety and health prompted the French airline to resume travel between the two countries.