Zanzibar has started to receive a weekly flight from Moscow throughout the European winter season, operated with a Boeing B747 of Russiya Airlines.
Biblio Globus, a Russian tour operator, is chartering the flight to bring Russian tourists, wishing to escape the winter cold, to the sunny beaches of Zanzibar.
On the inaugural flight were over 500 passengers and after receiving the traditional water cannon salute was it all hands on deck for immigration and customs but also for baggage handling services to process this unprecedented number of visitors arriving at once.
The flight was officially welcomed by a delegation comprising Zanzibar government officials – led by the Minister of State in the President’s Office ISSA Haji Ussi and Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, the Minister responsible for Information, Tourism and Heritage – and Russian embassy officials and leading tourism stakeholders from Zanzibar.
It is estimated that this operation, due to take place year-round, could bring as many as 25000 Russian tourists to the “Spice Island.”