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Coastal Anniversary - 30 years of excellence!By *Gabriele Manzoni, Coastal Aviation
Saturday the 16th of September was a special day for Coastal Aviation. It was this day in 1987, 30 years ago, that we undertook our first commercial flight.
For the next 12 months, we will be celebrating this milestone with a series of events, competitions and innovations.
We cannot find a better way to celebrate this important milestone other than sharing the words that our beloved founder Nicola wrote for us at the beginning of the year:
This year, on 16th of September, we celebrate 30 years of Coastal. I guess you have sometime asked yourselves why does Coastal have a Dhow sail and a Sun in its logo. Well.. Coastal started as a inbound operator offering "Personalized Safaris & Air Charters" to the, then, very thin tourism market. We offered sailing trips to Zanzibar as well as Air Charters to the National parks.. The original Coastal fleet was composed of one Aircraft, a six seater Cessna 206T, and three beautiful large dhows... Things have changed since then: traffic increased many folds, sailing to Zanzibar has become a business for the very fast powered boats and aviation has become very popular nationwide. We dropped the sailing option, and focused on the aviation side, but kept the Sail in our logo to remind us of our origins..
From the very beginning we saw the need for a network capable to deliver guests to the parks and link these among themselves and to the resorts on the ocean. One sector at the time, with patience and with substantial re-investment we have created the necessary connections and today you can fly Coastal to almost all tourism destinations in the country. In addition we link Tanzania to other world class destinations: Rwanda and its famous Mountain Gorillas, the Masai Mara in Kenya and in Mozambique the incredible Quirimbas archipelago.
The fleet is no longer made up by a lonely C206T but composed of 30 aircraft, among which 21 sturdy caravans built in the USA and 6 pressurized, fast, Pilatus aircraft made in Switzerland which all together carried 187,000 guests in 2016. We have to thank you, dear friends, tour operators and individual guests, for your trust and patronage which has supported us in the growth of the business.
In the last 30 years tourism has grown considerably in the country, however it would be a mistake to believe we have reached any kind of ceiling.. Tanzania has almost 300,000 square kilometers of parks and conservation areas and 80% of the million plus incoming tourists, really spend most of their time in the 25,000 sq. km. of Serengeti and Ngorongoro combined. That leaves us with 275,000 sq. km. of parks and reserves to be better connected and this is where Coastal is focusing its' efforts now. And we ask you to help: include the parks of Rubondo, Katavi, Mahale, Ruaha, Selous in your itineraries and be sure we are there to serve you.
1943 - 2017
We hope that you will join us, at some stage, during our birthday year, whether it be at a party, as a passenger on our flights or entering one of our competitions.
The Coastal Flying Safari Team