(eTN) – AfricaStay, a South Africa-based tour operator, launched nonstop charter flights yesterday between Johannesburg and Zanzibar, now operating every Tuesday and using a B737-800 with a configuration of 185 seats, all economy. The flights are reportedly a “replacement” for the services operated until last year by now defunct 1Time, once more offering South African travelers direct access to the Spice Island. Tourism sources on Zanzibar have welcomed the new flight and expressed their hope that the possible second flight during the high season could add even greater numbers of visitors, helping to fill beds in the resorts across the island.
AfricaStay’s Cobus Vermeulen, Director for Sales and Marketing, was quoted to this correspondent by a Zanzibar-based source as having said that the new connection would be reasonably priced and ticket-only sales are available besides their package holidays.
‘Like you wrote, Zanzibar is getting new resorts of top quality. We have a lot of beds to sell now, and what we need is more nonstop flights to Zanzibar. Mango is welcome, because even 1Time had good load factors, and South Africans like Zanzibar. But like we made it clear at ITB, we want more charter flights directly from Europe, or even combined with maybe Kilimanjaro or Mombasa, and we want more scheduled flights from bigger airlines. We are different from the coast of Tanzania or Kenya, we have beautiful beaches, and we also have history to see for visitors,” added the source when passing the information about the new flights by Mango.
Other flights presently route via Dar es Salaam with both Precision Air and Coastal Aviation the main airlines serving the island.