TANZANIA (eTN) – Celebrating 45 years of flights between Amsterdam and Tanzania, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is proud to be a key player in Tanzania’s fast-growing tourism.
The airline celebrated on Monday this week, its 45th years of continuous services between Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
During a grand party to grace the day attended by leading travel agents, tourist stakeholders, aviation players, and diplomats, KLM General Manager for Eastern Africa Dries Klein said the airline made a milestone achievement during the 45 years of its operations in this country.
The airline is currently operating daily flights connecting Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean coast and Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania’s tourist circuit.
KLM stands the only European and a leading global airline with a long history in Tanzania today, after other European airlines pulled off their flights from this country.
The airline inaugurated its first flight connecting Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam on May 19, 1969 with stopovers in Munich, Zurich, Cairo, Entebbe, and Nairobi before making its final landing in Dar es Salaam.
The old days’ Monday-operated flights took more than 14 1/2 hours to complete a journey by McDonnell Douglas DC-8 equipment. It now takes 8 1/2 hours to fly the non-stop route between Amsterdam and Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam.
Between 1991 and 1996, KLM launched a round-trip connecting Amsterdam, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam, and Lilongwe in Malawi.
As a member of the global SkyTeam, KLM operates an Airbus 330-300 state-of-the-art aircraft with modern interiors and seats, and meal services in its Tanzania-bound flights.
Tanzania stands the only nation in Eastern Africa where KLM lands in two different cities – Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro near the northern tourist city of Arusha.
KLM as well stands a key stakeholder in the one million tourists visiting Tanzania since last year, giving it (KLM) a moment to evaluate its past performance and review its current milestones and challenges for better future plans and programs for the airline and the air transport at large.
Tanzanian Minister for Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu said the union between KLM and Air France was an exemplary cooperation to be copied by other airlines, mostly the African airlines.
He said Tanzania is looking at attracting over 2 million tourists in the near future with a great demand for more airlines. He lauded the existing partnership between KLM, Kenya Airways, and Tanzania’s leading Precisionair which have teamed together to share the East African skies.
The minister said his government is looking to combat the poaching crime so as to save the African wildlife which has been a source of tourism and attracted air travelers.
KLM is the only European airline landing at Kilimanjaro Airport daily, where, apart from tourists and other passengers, flowers are airlifted to various world destinations. Fish filets from Lake Victoria city of Mwanza are also airlifted by KLM to European markets via Kilimanjaro Airport.