Etihad Airways, United Arab Emirates (UAE) national airline, has recently started its direct daily flights to Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam to tap the growing flow of business and leisure travelers and cargo volume between East Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and China.
The new route from Abu Dhabi to Dar es Salaam, which became the 117th airline’s destination in the world and 11th in Africa and the Indian Ocean, is being operated with Airbus A320 aircrafts with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats and serves as connection for other 45 popular destinations in Europe, Middle-East, the Indian Subcontinent, North and Southeast Asia, and Australasia.
The demand for the route Abu Dhabi – Dar es Salaam will experience a quick growth since it supports Etihad’s presence expansion in Africa and close trading relationship between UAE and Tanzania, explained Etihad Airway’s President and CEO, Mr. James Hogan.
According to the company, UAE is Tanzania’s primary trade partner in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) compounded by Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
Exports from Tanzania to UAE recorded USD 84.6 million representing 62.9% of the total sent to GCC in 2013 up from USD 15.5 million representing 41.16% of the total sent to GCC in 2003 according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The two way flow of trade will be enhanced by Africa’s economic growth and the launch of the new route Abu Dhabi – Dar es Salaam, which by connecting the continent with other key destinations in Eithad’s global network, will encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Tanzania and boost local employment and trade in the region, Mr. Hogan added.
FDI inflows to Tanzania have grown from USD 403 million in 2006 to USD 1,872 million in 2013 or 24.53% annually in contrast with Sub Saharan Africa’s (SAA) average contracting rate at 7.32% per annum.
According to Etihad, Tanzania as the second largest economy in SSA provides a strategic gateway for the transportation of goods and commerce to surrounding landlocked country’s as Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.
Etihad became the 22nd air operator to be licensed in Tanzania after Air Tanzania, Emirates, Air Mozambique, Kenya Airways, South African Airlines, Air Uganda, Swiss International Airline, KLM, Ethiopian Airline, Qatar Airways, Precision Air, Egypt Air, Rwanda Air, Oman Air, Turkish Airlines, Pro Flight, Malawian Airlines, Ewa Air, Air Seychelles, and Fly Dubai according to Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA).