Tanzania air transport

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Tanzania’s airports play a key role in transport infrastructure in the country. As well as being an international gateway, airports have a history of being used for domestic air transport in Tanzania and been a leader in the provision of developmental opportunities in rural areas. In total, the country has 368 airports, and 58 of those airports are under the control of the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) on the mainland. Most airports are private airports owned by mining companies and operators of tourism activities.

Despite the long history of the transport industry in bringing airport transport development in Tanzania, the presence of a few international airport transport companies in Tanzania, and national airlines – Air Tanzania, is hampering air transport development in Tanzania. At a time when most travel routes are very long, and you do need to travel long hours by road, but the demand for air travel has remained low, and it is not growing as fast as in other countries. 

This situation is compounded by the pace of development and the fact that many people are unable to travel mainly by air transport due to their low economy. Low demand, high operating costs, and low competition have led to higher airline ticket prices compared to other parts of the world and this has affected the growth of the airline industry.

Major Airports in Tanzania


Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) is one of 58 government owned airports operated and maintained by Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) .

There are three major international airports in Tanzania: 

Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO): situated between Arusha and Moshi, this is the most common entry point into the country for those exploring the Northern Safari Circuit that includes the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara. 

Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR): a good option for those visiting Dar es Salaam or the Southern Safari Circuit that includes Selous Game Reserve, and Ruaha National Park. 

Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ): for those heading straight to Zanzibar, this airport is just 5km (3.1 miles) outside of Stone Town, Zanzibar’s capital.

All three airports have good international connections from most major cities in Europe and North America. 

Domestic and International flights in Tanzanania

The history of ZanAir begun on the 4th of May 1991, when Carl G. Salisbury arrived on Zanzibar with a Piper Seneca 2. While working as a pilot, he was among the pioneers who realized that the tourism industry on Zanzibar was going to expand.

After just a year, he founded ZanAir, which was the quarterstone of an over 25 year long history here on the island of Zanzibar. Along his way here on the island he not only grew ZanAir, he also established 5 years later the today Leading DMC on Zanzibar, ZanTours. 

Carl is not only still the Managing Director of ZanAir but also one of the longest foreign investor on Zanzibar.

With over 30 years of experience‚ Coastal Aviation is recognized for its extensive flying safari network‚ reaching 44 destinations and capable of accessing the remotest parts of the region.

 Precision Air was established in 1993. It started as a private charter air Transport Company operating a five-seater piper Aztec aircraft. Its initial line of business mainly entailed providing connections to tourists visiting the rich natural attractions of Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, in northern Tanzania, the Zanzibar Island in the Indian Ocean and other parts of the country from Arusha town as its base.

Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) is the national airline of Tanzania, carrying with it the national treasure and pride of Mt Kilimanjaro as its slogan – ‘The Wings of Kilimanjaro’. Based in Dar es Salaam, with its hub at the modern state of the art Julius Nyerere International Airport out of Terminals II and III. The airline is IOSA certified and a proud member of IATA. ATCL has been a member of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) since its establishment in 1977 following the dissolution of East African Airways.

ATCL is a government-owned airline with a fleet of 12 aircrafts; one Dash 8-Q300, five Dash 8-Q400, four Airbus A220-300 and two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Before the end of 2023, we expect to add to our fleet; one Dash 8 Q400, two Boeing 737 Max – 9, one Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and one Boeing 767 Freighter.

With a young fleet, ATCL maintains its position as the leading airline in Tanzania, providing extensive domestic and international connectivity with over 120 weekly flights to more than 15 destinations. Air Tanzania currently operates more than 10 domestic destinations from Dar es Salaam hub, namely: Dodoma, Kilimanjaro, Kigoma, Mpanda, Geita, Mbeya, Mtwara, Mwanza, Bukoba, Songea, Tabora, Iringa, Arusha and Zanzibar. Beyond our borders, ATCL operates to Mumbai (India), Lubumbashi (DRC), Nairobi (Kenya), Hahaya (Comoros), Ndola and Lusaka (Zambia), Harare (Zimbabwe), Bujumbura (Burundi), Entebbe (Uganda). Soon we will be adding, Dzaoudzi (Mayotte), Dubai (UAE), Juba (Southern Sudan), Johannesburg (South Africa), Lagos (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), and London (United Kingdom).

A recognised leader in the aviation industry in Tanzania‚ we started in 1997 with one pilot and one aircraft. We are affiliated to the long-established Nairobi-based domestic airline‚ Airkenya. Based in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha‚ the international airport there is the starting point for all our safaris into northern Tanzania. 

Established in 2011 As Salaam Air is the airline of the Tanzanian Islands based in Zanzibar‚ Tanzania. As “The King of Islands”‚ our life-force was developed out of our geographical roots. We are passionate locals with love for our Islands. We prepare our clients for the sheer beauty of our island’s geography. We are proud to connect you to the islands of Tanzania and help you discover their natural beauty and unique charms.

As Salaam Air was founded by Mr. Abdulsatar H. Daud‚ a well-known and successful businessman in Zanzibar. Captain Hussein Abdulsatar is the Managing Director of As Salaam Air. He is passionate about aircraft and providing quality services to travelers flying to the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba from the mainland.Since its launch‚ As Salaam Air has grown to be a leading air carrier between the Tanzanian Islands. Our experienced team understands that customer satisfaction is important to the creation of a successful flight operation. Thus‚ we go above and beyond to satisfy our clients. The airline plies eight routes to promote tourism within and outside the country.

Auric Air Services Limited is a small privately owned airline based in Tanzania, Operating from Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) Dar-es-salaam, Arusha Airport and Mwanza Airport. The Company offers scheduled flights to 42 destinations within East Africa as well as on demand private non-scheduled air charter.

Fastjet Airlines Limited (Tanzania), also known as Fastjet Tanzania, was a low-cost airline that operated flights under the fastjet brand in Tanzania.

The airline was founded in 2011 as Fly540 Tanzania, but through the acquisition of Fly540 in 2012, it was rebranded as Fastjet Tanzania. 

It was based in Dar es Salaam. The airline carried more than 350,000 passengers in its first year of operations and sold one million seats by December 2014.  It went into liquidation on 25 November 2019.