Zanzibar now East Africa’s fourth-largest airport – seven new airlines
Zanzibar is the fourth-largest airport in East Africa this winter, up from seventh year-on-year.
Addis Ababa remains top, followed by Nairobi. Dar Es Salaam is now third, up by one place, while the island nation of Mauritius – which was third – has fallen out of the top-10.
Of course, Zanzibar’s seat volume has inevitably fallen.
But while it has reduced by approximately 16%, this is significantly healthier than the nearly half drop at Nairobi, 36% at Addis Ababa – and over 450% at Mauritius.
Zanzibar’s comparative success is due to three reasons: a raft of new airlines and routes, and new inbound markets.
Zanzibar has seven new airlines this winter – and eighth coming
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, Lufthansa will launch Frankfurt on 31 March. It’ll be twice-weekly via Mombasa in both directions.
Read more: Europe – Zanzibar up 148% between 2015 and 2019.
Indeed, this coming summer is scheduled to be Zanzibar’s best yet to Europe, with nearly one-third more seats than in pre-pandemic summer 2019.
Great news for Zanzibar’s tourism but has the new airport opened? The original one could barely cope with existing numbers in November 2019.