Qatar Airways launched its second new destination of the year, touching down in the Spice Island of Zanzibar yesterday. Zanzibar is the airline’s third route in Tanzania, following Dar-es-Salaam and Kilimanjaro. Qatar Airways will initially operate five weekly flights to Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro, and commencing 1st October 2015, the airline will offer an additional two weekly flights making it a daily operation. Out of the daily flights from October, passengers will be able to fly non-stop to Zanzibar three-times-a-week and on a linked flight via Kilimanjaro four-times-a-week.

Flight QR1355 arrived at Zanzibar International Airport at 16:20 local time and was welcomed by local dignitaries and media.

Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Marwan Koleilat who was on the inaugural flight said: “This latest route marks yet another significant milestone for the airline that has spread its international wings to its 20th gateway in Africa and 148th destination globally.

“Zanzibar’s attraction as a tourist destination has been steadily growing as more travellers discover its wonderful combination of cultures, and Qatar Airways is delighted to be able to give more people the opportunity to visit this beautiful island with all it has to offer.

“By providing  a reliable, convenient and award-winning travel experience from Zanzibar, Qatar Airways will provide passengers with the opportunity to travel to Doha and connect onwards to more than 140 worldwide destinations through our new state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport.”

Honourable Juma Duni Haji Zanzibar’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communication said: “It is with pleasure and extreme pride that we welcome Qatar Airways to Zanzibar. We are delighted this global airline has chosen Zanzibar as its newest destination in Africa and we look forward to working together with the Qatar Airways team to bring further investment, trade and tourism to our island.”

Qatar Airways is operating an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration on the Zanzibar-Doha route, with 12 seats in Business Class and up to 132 seats in Economy. Each seat on selected flights offers an interactive audio and video entertainment system featuring up to 1,000 options of movies, TV programmes and music channels.

In addition, passengers can remain connected with friends, colleagues and family on the ground with an SMS text messaging service using their mobile devices.

Qatar Airways’ African portfolio of destinations covers a rich and diverse group of cities that also includes Nairobi, Entebbe, Kigali, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Algiers, Asmara, Cairo, Casablanca, Djibouti, Khartoum and Luxor.

The airline has seen rapid growth in just 18 years of operation, to the point where today it is flying a modern fleet of 161 aircraft to 148 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.