Information was just confirmed from a regular aviation source in Dar es Salaam, that British Airways appears set to leave Tanzania’s commercial capital come March this year. The respective booking systems do not show any flight availability beyond March either, adding a further confirmation to the particulars given from Tanzania.
The departure of BA, though in today’s competitive aviation environment less significant considering the daily flights by Emirates, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, KLM and others, will nevertheless be a blow to Tanzania’s efforts to promote the country abroad as a preferred tourism and trade destination. The move also comes at a time when discoveries of major oil and gas deposits along the southern coast line of Tanzania are making waves and bring a whole new range of investment opportunities for companies from overseas, potentially flying with BA.
Tourism stakeholders were clearly stunned by the announcement and several contacted in fact had not heard about the development by the time the question was posed to them, news however certain to spread overnight and tomorrow when the daily newspapers are expected to carry the stories.
No immediate reasons were available from any known BA sources in Eastern Africa why the airline was pulling out from Tanzania but considering that Virgin left Nairobi a few months ago it surely raised questions what British airlines are up to in the medium and long term vis a vis flights to Eastern Africa.