Considering the Arusha area has a population of over 1.5 million the airport is very basic, although I understand that Kilimanjaro Airport is also used to serve the area. Check in involved joining a queue to have bags weighed. At this point your tickets and passport (even though it is a domestic flight) are taken from you and your bags are put to one side.
After about 5 – 10 minutes a person emerges from a back office, calls your name and then returns your passport and tickets and provides you with your boarding pass. At this time you are also asked to identify your bags and the bag tags are attached. You can then proceed to the ‘departure lounge’ which is a few rows of seats under a roof. The terminal is very basic but there are a few shops and cafes to fill in the time.
Boarding and Flight
This flight had a scheduled departure time of 1525 and at about 1500 an announcement was made that the flight was delayed until 1645. Once the aircraft arrived boarding was strictly by row number and anyone trying to board prior to their row being called was turned away until their row was called. As this was nearly a full flight enforcing the boarding by row certainly helped ensure a quick and effective boarding on the aircraft. Actual departure time was 1710 and apologies for the late departure were made by the captain and crew.
This flight was operated by an ATR with a 2×2 configuration. Shortly after take off the captain pointed out a view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Flight time was 1 hour and during the flight a service of complimentary soft drink/orange juice/water together with a packet of cashew nuts was offered.
On arrival at Zanzibar Airport we were required to fill out a sheet with our name, passport number, address in Zanzibar, country of residence, and age. None of this was checked when handing in the form. There also did not appear to be any public toilet facilities either in the baggage claim area or arrivals area in Zanzibar.
For a regional type service the flight was quite acceptable. The aircraft was clean and tidy and passengers were kept well informed by the captain and flight attendants. The airport facilities at both Arusha and Zanzibar were less appealing.