BRITISH Airways will suspend its direct flights between Tanzania and London due to low profitability of the route, the regional commercial manager George Mawadri has said.
BA will operate its last flight from Tanzania on March 31. The move is a plus for Kenya in the scramble for the UK tourism market as direct flights to a destination play a key role in visitor attraction because of convenience.
"The route was not making profitable contribution to our business," Mawadri told the Star. This is the first time the airline has suspended flights on that route since launching operations in Tanzania 82 years ago.
Mawadri said that despite the airline operating three weekly flights to London from Dar-es-Salaam, BA has not been able to get the profits needed to sustain services on that route.
"We keep reviewing our routes to see which routes contribute more to the business," said Mawadri. UK makes one of the largest source markets for tourism for the East African region. In 2011 UK visitors who visited Tanzania stood at 58,369 while 203,290 visited Kenya. Figures for full year 2012 are yet to be released.