Dubai-based budget airline flydubai has inaugurated two flights to Tanzania as part of its rapid expansion in East Africa. The new routes underline flydubai’s rapid expansion in Africa which has seen the carrier’s network double to 12 destinations this year.
Commenting on the start of flights to Tanzania, Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive of flydubai, said the United Arab Emirates had recognised the immense potential in the emerging markets of East Africa like Tanzania. He noted that airline would continue to work diligently to support travel, trade and tourism objectives by strengthening direct links between the UAE and African markets.
Flydubai entered the market in 2009 with flights to Djibouti, and in 2011 Addis Ababa became flydubai’s second East African destination. In 2014, the low-cost carrier added six new routes to the continent by launching flights to Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and three destinations in Tanzania.
“The pace of flydubai’s expansion in East Africa has picked up. Six of the 23 new routes we have launched this year are to Africa. The potential we see for this market is just the tip of the iceberg as it is still a heavily underserved region. We are very excited about our new flights to Tanzania, which are going to be very popular for our passengers whether for leisure or business,” commented Sudhir Sreedharan, the senior vice president of commercial at the the airline.
Tanzania has emerged as a noteworthy trade partner for Dubai recently and ranked among the major non-oil trade partners in Africa last year topping $1.86 billion in total annual trade, according to recent figures from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce.
Flydubai started operating its new Boeing 737-800 fleet configured with Business Class on its Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar flights from October 16, 2014, providing passengers between Tanzania and UAE with the option to connect onwards through Dubai’s aviation hub.
In addition to its three routes in Tanzania, flydubai is building up a network in Africa with flights to Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Khartoum and Port Sudan, Djibouti, Juba as well as Bujumbura, Entebbe and Kigali.