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Air France Launches Direct Flights to Tanzania From Paris

Air France direct flights Tanzania
Written by Teresa Mwangi

Tourism in Tanzania continues to grow in leaps and bounds post Covid-19 pandemic with French airline, Air France launching direct flights.

The French national carrier resumes direct flights from its Paris capital to Tanzania’s largest city Dar es Salaam. This is now the airline’s 31st route in sub-Saharan African network.

Air France operates two weekly flights to Zanzibar’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport since 2021. Zanzibar is a tourist hotspot courtesy of its alluring beaches and serene islands.

In the direct flights plan, the French national carrier will deploy 279-seat 787-9s planes which are the second smallest in its fleet. It will then operate direct three flights from Paris to Dar es Salaam every week.

Why Was There a Standoff Between Air France and Zanzibar Airports Authority?

Air France in January 2023 protested a directive by Zanzibar Airports Authority (ZAA) requiring airlines planning to utilise Terminal 3 building to sign with Dnata. The latter is ZAA’s preferred ground handler picked after the construction of the terminal which is fairly new.

Air France direct flight to Tanzania

Air France direct flight to Tanzania. Photo/Flight Global

Following this, the French carrier threatened to exit from the Tanzanian market. It took diplomatic intervention to find a common ground and broker the direct flights deal with Air France.

Dar’s addition now makes Nairobi, which Air France began operating in March 2018, totally nonstop in both directions. There are now three flights through Zanzibar and four nonstop flights to Nairobi.

How Many People Make a Roundtrip to Dar es Salaam Via Air France?

Booking information reveals a small 8,500 roundtrip point-to-point market between January and September 2022. This was for flights between Paris and Dar, which is not unusual.

For the entire year 2019, it was only about 11,500.  Now, since Tanzania has never been a colony, Air France will concentrate exclusively on transit travellers over CDG. It will be the same as KLM’s daily Dar es Salaam service over Amsterdam and Turkish Airlines’ daily flight over Istanbul.

In retrospect, London, however, which is by far Dar’s biggest market in Europe, still lacks nonstop access. That’s despite British Airways’ 767-300ER service there up until 2013. Its local market was five times greater than Paris and four times larger than Amsterdam in 2019 with over 50,000 roundtrip P2P travellers.

It still relies on nonstop flights over hubs in the Middle East, including Amsterdam, Istanbul, Addis Abeba, Nairobi, and shortly Paris.  The addition of Dar brings the sub-Saharan passenger network for Air France to 31 airports by the summer. It is only surpassed among European airlines by Turkish Airlines’ 39, which benefits from its frequent one-stop flights, significant usage of narrowbodies, and geographic location, particularly to Central and Eastern Africa.

British Travellers Eyeing Tanzania as New Holiday Destination

Meanwhile, British partying enthusiasts could ditch the animated Island of Ibiza in Spain for the sunny and affordable Tanzania in Africa.

This is after its recent naming as the best-value sunny destination in the world which is tempting British tourists for a vacation. Tanzania is popping up as the most ideal destination compared to the famous Ibiza. It is hotter and relatively affordable with pints of beer going for a dollar/pound.

In addition, food is also affordable with a meal for two costing less than five pounds while accommodation is also cheap. You will get a hotel room costing $700 for a week in this country along the East African coast.

british tourists tanzania

A British tourist in Tanzania. Photo/World Nomad

What International Travellers Should Expect in Tanzania

Tanzania provides a wide range of niceties for British travellers to explore and enjoy this alluring East African location, including its mild climate and accessibility. The nation is home to beautiful beaches with warm water perfect for diving and snorkelling year-round. Brits are big fans of water sports and Africa gives them a chance to just have this by every measure.

Secondly, Tanzania isn’t a place to bore you, thanks to its striking natural beauty coupled with varied landscapes. There are numerous fascinating places to visit such as the Serengeti National Park famed for its wildlife abundance and exotic lodges and hotels. British wanderlusts also have a chance to enjoy wildebeest migration crossing over from Maasai Mara in Kenya. The Ngorongoro Crater is another stunning destination to spot the “Big Five” in their natural habitat.

In addition, Tanzania’s tropical Indian Ocean coastline features immaculate beaches, glistening oceans, and lively coral reefs. Ideal beach retreats are available in places like Zanzibar, Pemba Island, and Mafia Island, which are great for relaxing, water sports, snorkelling and diving excursions.

Another significant benefit for British tourists considering Tanzania as a summer destination is affordability. Tanzania has a comparatively lower cost of living than many places in Europe, which makes accommodation, food, and transportation within budget for every traveller’s budget. Moreover, there is a wide range of hotels/lodges/resorts to choose from depending on your pocket. Any British budget traveller affords a vacation to the tropical paradise that is Zanzibar.

About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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