DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania has allocated 90.6 billion Tanzanian shillings (about 39.2 million U.S. dollars) for implementation of 23 projects aimed at revamping the tourism sector affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a cabinet minister said on Sunday.
Damas Ndumbaro, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, told a press conference in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam that the funds were part of the 567.25 million U.S. dollars approved in September by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The IMF approved the funds in emergency financial assistance to Tanzania under the Rapid Credit Facility and Rapid Financing Instrument to support the authorities' efforts in responding to the pandemic by addressing the urgent health, humanitarian, and economic costs.
Ndumbaro said projects to be implemented include renovation of infrastructure, installation of security systems, purchase of mobile test kits for testing COVID-19 infections among tourists and acquisition of transportation facilities.
"These projects will simplify access to different tourist attractions and subsequently reviving the tourism sector," said the official.
He said part of the funds will be used to renovate roads leading to Serengeti, Mkomazi, Tarangire, Nyerere, Kilimanjaro, Saadani and Gombe national parks.
Ndumbaro added that the funds will also be used to conserve forests managed by state-run Tanzania Forests Services Agency. - Xinhua
RwandAir and Qatar Airways have signed a comprehensive codeshare agreement that will offer travelers more choice, service, and greater connectivity. The agreement was signed today in Boston on the sidelines of the IATA Annual General Meeting. The codeshare is a next step towards formalizing the ties between the two carriers, which includes Qatar taking a 49 percent share. RwandAir and Qatar strengthen bond with codeshare.
Operating from Kigali, RwandAir is one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines. It operates twelve aircraft with an average age of just under six years, including two Airbus A330s, six Boeing 737NGs, two Bombardier CRJ 900s, and two De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s. The airline currently offers services to 25 destinations across 21 countries throughout Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It has a reputation for delivering a premium service.
As part of the deal, the Rwandan flag carrier will launch new non-stop flights between its Kigali hub and Qatar’s base at Hamad International Airport in Doha in December. From there, customers will have access to Qatar’s vast network that includes popular destinations in the US, Europe, and Asia.
The codeshare will give Qatar Airways access to 65 destinations across Africa such as Bujumbura, Kinshasa, and Lubumbashi. Customers can buy connecting flights on both airlines using one reservation, with seamless ticketing, check-in, boarding, and baggage check experience that encompasses the entire journey.
Milestone for RwandAir
RwandAir CEO Yvonne Makolo said: “This is a major milestone for RwandAir and marks the beginning of an exciting new journey with Qatar Airways. We are also immensely proud to welcome Doha to our route network, connecting customers with Qatar’s hub and further expanding their flight map. This codeshare agreement will give our customers significantly more choice and flexibility, allowing RwandAir to strengthen its global presence and build on its strong and loyal African customer base.”
“As we continue to grow out of the pandemic, this partnership represents yet another extremely important step on our recovery runway, and we hope to deliver more commitments like this to our customers in the very near future.”
RwandAir continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 25 destinations. The partnership will give RwandAir, which has reported close to $50 million in losses each year since its creation, a solid technical and financial partner able to support its development and hub strategy.
Qatar extends foothold in Africa
Qatar Airways has had a keen interest in RwandAir for more than a year. In February 2020, Group CEO Akbar Al Baker announced his airline would take a 49 percent share. This still has to be finalized. On the codeshare agreement, Al Baker said: “We share a very close and collaborative bond with Rwanda and welcome RwandAir’s new non-stop service between Kigali and our home in Doha. With this comprehensive codeshare agreement, we are committed to deliver greater choice and connectivity to our customers in Africa and around the world. The new partnership will help position Qatar Airways in the region and complement our African expansion strategy.”
Both airlines recently announced a loyalty partnership, giving RwandAir Dream Miles and Qatar Airways Privilege Club loyalty members access to each other’s destinations. This gives customers the opportunity to accrue and redeem miles across their reciprocal route networks and access the airlines’ airport lounges at both airlines’ hub homes in Doha and Kigali.
In February 2020, Qatar also took a 60 percent stake in the new Bugesera airport East of Kigali. It is a project worth nearly $1.3 billion and initially scheduled for completion in 2020. In December, Al Baker confirmed that Qatar would acquire another stake. - Wole Shadare, AirInsight Group
NAIROBI, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The number of passengers using Kenya's standard gauge railway train more than doubled in the first six months of the year as compared to a similar period in 2020, says government economic data released Friday.
The report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) says a total of 764,942 passengers were ferried between the capital Nairobi and Mombasa in the six months, up from 330,232 in 2020.
The rise in number of passengers is attributed to Kenya's management of COVID-19 in 2021, which allowed free movement of people and the passenger train was permitted to travel during curfew hours at night. In 2020, Kenya totally restricted movement of people between Nairobi and Mombasa for months.
Similarly, Kenya's cargo train moved 2.74 million tons of cargo in the first six months, an increase of 40 percent from a similar period in 2020, said KNBS. - Xinhua
Informer East Africa is a UK based diaspora Newspaper. It is a unique platform connecting East Africans at home and abroad through news dissemination. It is a forum to learn together, grow together and get entertained at the same time.
To advertise events or products, get in touch by info [at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447957636854. If you have an issue or a story, get in touch with the editor through editor[at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447886544135.
We also accept donations from our supporters. Please click on "donate". Your donations will go along way in supporting the newspaper.