The inaugural flight, which landed in Dar es Salaam at 6 a.m. on a 180-seater Airbus A320, was greeted by a water salute. Swissport Tanzania operated the flight from Dar es Salaam to Jeddah, which carried 61 people.
Makame Mbarawa, Minister of Works and Transport, stated that the airline, which is the first to offer direct flights between the two cities, is expected to increase the number of foreign visitors to Tanzania.
Prof Mbarawa stated that the number of foreign travelers grew by 55% in 2022 compared to 2021, citing data from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority. He stated that the number of travelers increased from 1.694 million to 2.618 million during the period under review. Numerous visitors and business travelers go between the two nations.
“The coming of a new operator is a vote of confidence in the country’s business environment,” he asserted.
Prof Mbarawa informed a crowd gathered to witness the inaugural flight that Tanzania has become the 14th African country to have direct flights with Saudia Airlines.
With the introduction of direct flights, the journey time to Saudi Arabia has been reduced from 10 hours to around 4.40 hours, compared to the previous 10 hours when passengers flew to Saudi Arabia through other locations such as Addis Ababa and Doha.
Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) Director General Mussa Mbura stated that the airline will operate four flights each week between JNIA and King Abdulaziz International Airport on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
In August of last year, a group of Saudi businessmen arrived in Tanzania to look for investment possibilities in agriculture, water, and the environment. The delegation was led by Tanzania’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ally Mwadini.
Tanzania was home to 13 registered Saudi Arabian projects at the time. According to Revocatus Rasheli, investment promotion director at the Tanzania Investment Centre, the projects raised a total of $55.24 million. Both countries continue to foster a mutually beneficial relationship.