Arusha’s municipal airport (ARK) partly-reopened in mid-June and is expected to reopen fully from 10 July after undergoing major expansion works.
Tanzania’s largest carrier Precision Air said that it will resume daily flights to the airport following a deal with the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) which included the upgrading of the runway to facilitate larger aircraft.
During the recent expansion period, the Dar es Salaam-based airline had to use Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), located about 60 km east of Arusha.
The smaller airport, situated just a few km southwest of Arusha on the Dodoma road, is used primarily for domestic flights but in 2011 the Tanzanian government granted permission for some international flights to operate out of ARK.
Companies offering regional flights from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya began using the airport which until then had been used solely for domestic flights, mostly to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.
Although KIA is the principal international airport in northern Tanzania, ARK is more convenient for tourists arriving for Tanzania’s crucial safari industry.
Arusha airport was also closed from 2004-2006 for expansion works.
Separately, the Dar es Salaam-based Precision Air announced the introduction of direct flights from Dar es Salaam to Lusaka in Zambia and Lubumbashi, the second-largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), three times a week. The service is to begin from 22 June.