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Lufthansa: We bring the world to Tanzania, aboard proxy Airlines

Frankfurt, Germany - September 17, 2014: Lufthansa Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 aircraft at Frankfurt Airport (FRA). Lufthansa is the German flag carrier and Europe's largest airline with some 665 planes. Frankfurt Airport is its biggest hub.

Lufthansa, will be launching direct flights between New-York City and Dar-es-salaam from January 2022.

But that isn’t the real news. It seems German’s largest airline, plans two more flight manifests for Tanzania in conjunction with its various sibling carriers. Two new airlines, soon to start landing at Kilimanjaro Airport, both happen to be members of the Lufthansa Group. Triple entry?

The Swiss Leisure Airline, Edelweiss which is owned by Lufthansa will be landing at Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO), from Zurich Switzerland, linking the global tourism hot spots, Mount Kilimanjaro and Swiss alps with a direct routed flights. Edelweiss used to land at KIA in the past.

Another windfall for Tanzanian travelers will be when the German low cost International Carrier, Eurowings Discover, starts flying into the country’s second largest terminal, Kilimanjaro International Airport, from mid 2022.

The Tanzania Times has learned that Effective from the 3rd of June 2022, Eurowings Discover, which is a new airline but also operating as part of the Lufthansa Group will be introducing direct flights linking its Frankfurt Hub to KIA, in Northern Tanzania, as well as the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport on Zanzibar Isles.

Eurowings Discover had already discovered Zanzibar and Mombasa Islands in July 2021

Which is just as well, because previously, the flagship airline, Lufthansa was mostly landing in Dar-es-salaam.

“The two airlines will be dispatching aircrafts with 250 passengers’ capacity that are to be landing at Kilimanjaro Airport twice a week,” explained Ms Christine Mwakatobe an Executive of the Country’s second largest terminal.

Other than the expected two new airlines, the Royal Dutch Airline (KLM), will increase its flights to Kilimanjaro to four landings per week, while the Qatar Airways has added its weekly Kilimanjaro landings to five, indicating busy schedules for KIA which is Tanzania’s tourism driven air terminal.

Managed under the Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO), the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), is the country’s second largest and second busiest terminal after Julius Kambarage Nyerere International Airport (JKNIA) of Dar-es-salaam.

Kilimanjaro International Airport, was declared the ‘safest’ terminal in East Africa, and is strategically located about halfway between Arusha and Kilimanjaro Regions and since these are the main tourist portals in the north.

Despite its modest size, Kilimanjaro International can handle aircrafts as large as Boeing 747s and Antonov 124s and features the largest aircraft hangar in East and Central Africa. But for some reason Lufthansa has been staying clear of JRO in the past.

Currently handling 15 international scheduled airlines with a number of other ad-hoc private and commercial chartered planes, Kilimanjaro Airport lists 1.2 million passengers per year, with over 45 percent of travelers being international passengers, 38 percent domestic and 17 percent transit.

Kilimanjaro International Airport has direct flight connections to Europe, the Middle East and several destinations on the African Continent. Some of the international airlines using the airport are KLM, Condor Air, Turkish Airline, Qatar, Ethiopian, Kenya Airways and Rwandair. Local airlines frequenting Kilimanjaro Airport include the state carrier, Air Tanzania and Precision Air.

In 2013 Kilimanjaro Airport was declared overall winner of the ‘Routes Africa Airport Marketing Award,’ which is highly regarded as the most prestigious awards in the industry as they are voted for and judged by the airline industry. KIA won the Routes’ ‘Best airport in Africa’ title in 2014.

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