Zanzibar now East Africa’s fourth-largest airport with seven new airlines

A KLM Aircraft arriving at Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, Zanzibar, December 2020. Photo/Courtesy
By :
AT Reporter

Zanzibar is the fourth-largest airport in East Africa this winter, up from seventh year-on-year.

According to Anna aero, an online network news and data website, Addis Ababa remains top, followed by Nairobi with Dar Es Salaam at the third, up by one place, while the island nation of Mauritius – which was third – has fallen out of the top-10.

While Zanzibar’s seat volume has inevitably fallen, (reducing by approximately 16%), this however, is healthier than the nearly half drop at Nairobi, 36% at Addis Ababa – and over 450% at Mauritius.

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The online network data website attributes Zanzibar’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport comparative success to three reasons: a raft of new airlines and routes, and new inbound markets.

Zanzibar has seven new airlines this winter: AZUR Air; KLM; Nord Wind; Royal Flight; SkyUp; Uganda Airlines; and UTAir. Nord Wind, which last operated in winter 2018, is back.

KLM started Zanzibar in December 2020 with a twice-weekly service using 294-seat B787-9s.  It operates triangularly: Amsterdam – Zanzibar – Dar – Amsterdam.

Yet it is Russia and Ukraine that is key for winter 2020, with Russians flocking to African islands.

The two nations now have almost 209,000 seats at Zanzibar, up from zero last winter – and 40% of the airport’s total.  The previous winter high – in winter 2018 – was just 7,200.

11 Russian and Ukrainian airports are linked to the Tanzanian island, with Moscow Sheremetyevo, Moscow Vnukovo, Kyiv Boryspil the top-three.

While it doesn’t quite fall into winter, Africa Tembelea has learnt that Lufthansa will launch Frankfurt on 31 March. And it will be twice-weekly via Mombasa in both directions.

According to the website, the coming summer is scheduled to be Zanzibar’s best yet to Europe, with nearly one-third more seats than in pre-pandemic summer 2019.

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