Mwinyi demands efficiency at Karume Airport

PRESIDENT Hussein Mwinyi has called for efficiency in service delivery at Zanzibar’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport to meet the demand of growing number of visitors.

Dr Mwinyi issued the directives here yesterday at the official opening of the leisure retail and concessionaire for all food and beverage, duty free and commercial outlets at Terminal III.

The newly-built international Terminal 3 is used for international flights and was estimated to serve 1.6 million people annually, but to date it has handled 1.4 million people annually.

“I want the immigration department to change and improve its systems … there should be no delays and queues which have been causing  inconvenience to travelers. I also direct all other service providers to change their operations in order to meet the international standards after major reforms at the airport,” Dr Mwinyi instructed.

The Minister for Infrastructure Development, Communication and Transport Dr Khalid Salum Mohamed said that the airport has recorded great strides after contracting Dubai-based air services provider dnata to run the operations of the newly-built Terminal 3.

The minister informed the president that despite contracting the Foreign Service provider the provision of immigration services remain unsatisfactory.

Responding, Dr Mwinyi said that he wants to see improved services at the airport after many years of incompetence and lack of skills in handling ground services, a situation which raised complaints from international airlines operators, resulting in low revenue collection, loss of luggage and pick pocketing.

“As dnata and its associates continue to improve services at the AAKIA, the government is also in the process to construct Pemba airport as soon as possible so that the Island is open to the world. We want to see a new Zanzibar with leading ground handling services in Africa,” Dr Mwinyi said.

He commended the dnata company for the achievement recorded in the past 14 months of its services at the Terminal 3 which include creating more than 600 jobs and improving services, thus, attracting more travelers including tourists, and increase in revenue collection.

“In the last quarter of this financial year, the revenue jumped from 6.7bn/- in July/September to 8.1bn/- in October/December. During Covid-19 the collection was only 2.5bn/-. With increased direct flights, currently 34 airlines having direct flights to Zanzibar, we see a brighter future,” Dr Mwinyi said.

President Mwinyi said the government is considering constructing a fourth terminal at the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA) after the official opening of terminal III with the capacity of handling about 1.6 million travelers annually.

“Due to the influx of tourists, holiday makers, and other visitors, we are almost beating the 1.6 million travelers’ target. We have quickly noticed that we need another larger space to handle more planes and travelers. Feasibility study for the fourth terminal is underway,” he said, thanking dnata for training about 400 airport staff to improve customer care services.

Minister Mohamed said: “The Public Private Partnership (PPP) with dnata deserves praise because we are already on track to meet international standards in airport operations and we want to achieve this by 2027.”

Mr Steve Allen- CEO of dnata, and Mr Tyrone Reid- CEO of MMI and ELR informed journalists at a press conference held on sideline of the event that they are committed to work with Zanzibar government and the Zanzibar Airports Authority (ZAA) to achieve the goal of providing best services at the facility.

In November 2021 – dnata, a leading global air and travel services provider, signed a concession agreement with Zanzibar government, along with Emirates Leisure Retail and SEGAP, a joint venture between airport infrastructure and operations specialists Egis, and private equity fund manager AIIM.

Under the partnership, dnata oversees the operations of Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport’s (ZNZ) newly-built international terminal (T3), with SEGAP supporting the Zanzibar Airports Authority (ZAA) in a management/technical capacity., while the Emirates Leisure Retail will partner with MMI as master concessionaire for all food and beverage, duty free and commercial outlets at T3.

The company promised to provide its globally renowned, quality ground and passenger handling services to airline customers at ZNZ, ensuring safe and timely operations of flights and an excellent travel experience for passengers. It expects to handle over 4,000 flights annually at the airport.

The firm is also investing in a state-of-the-art cargo centre to establish cargo operations at the airport, supporting local trade and businesses. The facility will comply with the highest industry standards, ensuring efficient and safe handling of a broad range of cargo, including perishables, pharmaceuticals, dangerous goods, live animals, aircraft engines and vehicles.

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