THE Lufthansa Group’s new subsidiary, Eurowings Discover launched its inaugural flight to Zanzibar yesterday signifying efforts of reviving tourism that has been hit hard by the Covid-19.
Zanzibar Minister for Tourism and Heritage Lulu Mohamed Mussa led several stakeholders in tourism and travel businesses to welcome the plane at the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA) terminal III, where the short ceremony was staged.
The plane landed at around 7.15 am (local time) followed by water saluting of the A330- 200 flight 4Y134 before the minister cut the ribbon to signify opening the door for the new flight.
She expressed happiness that it will further boost Zanzibar’s efforts of reviving tourism hit by the Covid-19.
“We are happy to welcome Eurowings discovery flight. We hope it will bring in more tourists at this time, when the economy is recovering, as well as know it mostly depends on tourism,” Ms Mussa said.
According to available data, tourism contributes to more than 25 per cent to GDP and also employs (direct employment) more than 60, 000 people.
However, Ms Mussa welcomed other international flights to Zanzibar, saying: “Zanzibar and the Mainland Tanzania is a safe place for tourists and that the government is encouraging health workers, staff at the official entry points and other workers in the tourism industry to have the Covid-19 vaccine.”
The Zanzibar Airports Authority (ZAA) Acting Director General Mr Fadhil Juma Ali asked the enthusiastic gathering at the airport to provide all the necessary and recommended services to the visitors.
He further said: “We must be well prepared to provide all the necessary, recommended and standard services to the Eurowing and other planes scheduled to Zanzibar.”
Eurowings Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Wolfgang Raebiger and the Eurowings Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Mr Helmut Woelfel, in separate remarks said they were happy to include Zanzibar in their destinations, with great expectations that many tourists from Germany and Europe will visit the Island.
The Eurowings flight General Manager for Southern Africa & East Africa, Dr Andre Schulz said the flight schedule to Zanzibar will be twice a week via Mombasa (Kenya).
“Plans are underway also to include Kilimanjaro and other destinations in Africa such as Mauritius,” Dr Schulz said.
Deputy German Ambassador to Tanzania Mrs Dr Kathrin Steinbrenner said opening Eurowings is another opportunity to strengthen the existing cooperation and relations between Europe and the east African nation for the benefits of the citizens.