Zanzibar was proving to be an ideal destination for South Africans with a desire to travel beyond the country’s borders during the pandemic since there is no quarantine requirement on arrival and Covid-19 PCR testing (required for re-entry to South Africa) can easily be carried out before departing Zanzibar.
Direct flights between Johannesburg and Zanzibar were being operated by the low-cost carrier Mango Airlines until 25 April. A subsidiary of South African Airways, Mango is now facing a financial crisis while it waits to receive pre-approved funding which had been allocated to it by the Department of Public Enterprises.
As a result of the delay, Mango suspended operations on its popular Zanzibar route where it held a monopoly since South African Airways (SAA) who also had rights to operate scheduled services on the route has been grounded since March last year. The suspension of direct flights to the island means that the destination is no longer an attractive option for the number of South Africans who wish to visit the island.
Travelnews reports that South African tour companies that organise holiday packages to Zanzibar, have been requesting privately owned South African airline companies to start up flights on the now unserved Zanzibar route, since there is demand for flights…