The government on Thursday signed a bilateral air services agreement with the Kingdom of Belgium that has opened up a new horizon for the aviation industry.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Professor Makame Mbarawa and Belgian Ambassador Peter Van Acker, who expressed hope that the agreement would improve connectivity between the two countries and boost trade and tourism.
Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Mbarawa said the air services agreement will be the first formal agreement between the two contracting parties.
He said the agreement provides a legal framework for establishing ties between the two countries.
“The air services agreements we are signing today represent a total of 76 air services agreements with our aviation partners,” Prof Mbarawa said.
He said the agreement is reassuring as it embodied the principal place of business and effective regulatory control for the designation of airlines by both contracting parties.
“It involves non-discriminatory self-handling permission from airlines, open consultations between contracting parties and unlimited frequencies between Julius Nyerere International Airport, Abeid Amani Karume International Airport and Kilimanjaro International Airport and international airports in the Kingdom of Belgium,” Prof Mbarawa said.
He said the terms provide for flexibility in business operations, which will in turn lead to the expansion of market segmentation and increased traffic movements.
Prof Mbarawa said air transport and tourism are two sides of the same coin, with the country’s vast tourism potential.
The minister said he expected a boom in tourists from Belgium, Europe and the rest of the world thanks to the airline’s networks and connections.
“While we entrust our commitment to Air Tanzania Company Limited for the launch of direct flights to Belgium, we are also considering receiving direct flights from Belgian airlines as a reciprocal designation,” he insisted.
He said the agreement will facilitate travel between the two countries and boost existing economic activities and the increase in flights will also boost aeronautical and ancillary revenue, thereby improving aviation trade between the two countries.
For his part, the Director General of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), Mr. Hamza Johari, said the agreement will lead to closer ties between the economies of the two countries.
He said this is a new step for the aviation industry as it has expanded connectivity, while Air Tanzania can now fly direct to Brussels and vice versa, hoping for new horizons.