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I fly regularly KLM 573 from Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam. This flight does a stop over in Kilimanjaro International Airport and no passengers are boarded, but passengers are disembarked.

There are also other flights of other airlines that I know of that do this (Turkish airlines, Swiss International).

Why is this done? Wouldn't it be more of an advantage to pick up some more passengers in a short intermediate flight in order to maximize profits?

Or does the hassle of loading/unloading luggage and passengers make it less viable?

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    $\begingroup$ Hello Fabrizio, thanks for accepting my answer so quickly. Consider to wait a bit longer in the future (e.g. 24h) before accepting an answer to encourage more users to provide their views. $\endgroup$ – DeltaLima May 29 '15 at 7:49
  • $\begingroup$ Agree! But that is actually the correct answer! Simple effective and properly written. $\endgroup$ – Fabrizio Mazzoni May 29 '15 at 7:51
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    $\begingroup$ @FabrizioMazzoni It's probably correct, yes. But it only says that cabotage is probably the reason: it doesn't give any information that Tanzania actually has cabotage rules. Anyway, if a better answer comes along, you can always change your mind about which answer you accept. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby May 29 '15 at 7:59
  • $\begingroup$ @FabrizioMazzoni you may like to read this whole story..!!! $\endgroup$ – anshabhi May 29 '15 at 8:26
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    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't there also be customs/immigration issues with mixing domestic and international passengers on the same flight? $\endgroup$ – Peter Green Feb 26 '16 at 0:27
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DeltaLima is correct but there is a little more to the story which he hints at in his link. This topic is known as Freedoms of the Air. There are five official in total, each dictating in what way an airline may operate in a foreign country. What KLM has done is a:

  • Normal stop for those getting off.
  • Technical stop for the onward passengers.

Both are less controversial than what would essentially be letting a foreign operator offer flights in your country, which would not help local carriers ( and which would constitute Cabotage as DeltaLima says).

The technical stop is defined in the second freedom of the air:

Second Freedom of the Air - the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State or States to land in its territory for non-traffic purposes (also known as a Second Freedom Right).

The Third and Fourth Freedom states that the airline can load and unload passengers in a foreign country for transport to and from the carrier home country:

Third Freedom of The Air - the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State to put down, in the territory of the first State, traffic coming from the home State of the carrier (also known as a Third Freedom Right).

Fourth Freedom of The Air - the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State to take on, in the territory of the first State, traffic destined for the home State of the carrier (also known as a Fourth Freedom Right).

(Needless to say, 3 and 4 go hand-in-hand)

Source: ICAO

See also this Boeing document for easier reading.

The other option, aside from not doing it for legal reasons, is that KLM cannot justify the trouble and cost of doing it.

  • Setting up more domestic presence (websites, additional staff, pricing in regard to competition) in a foreign country is a somewhat complicated business.
  • There would be additional waiting time on the ground when stuff was loaded and paperwork sorted out.
  • Furthermore, I imagine that KLM would like to block the free seats for the complete leg as long as possible (which would generate the greatest revenue), so the actual number of available sub-segments for booking would not be that great.
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  • $\begingroup$ Re your last paragraph, doesn't KLM already have the necessary presence in Tanzania to sell tickets for its international flights? $\endgroup$ – David Richerby May 29 '15 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby was unclear. they need to work out details and prices a questionable volume of additional bookings possibly with domestic websites (and possibly payment options) to make it feasible. They do not appear to have a desk at Kilimajaro but only a ground handling agent. They have an office in Dar es Salaam. $\endgroup$ – Thunderstrike May 29 '15 at 11:04
  • $\begingroup$ Could KLM offer the free seats "free" of cost between JRO to DAR, to its former customers, as a way of privilege or promotion? $\endgroup$ – Firee Mar 30 '16 at 11:33
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Very few countries allow foreign operators to provide transport services between destinations within the country.

Since both Kilimanjaro International and Dar es Salaam are in Tanzania, the government will simply not allow KLM to take additional passengers on this flight. Otherwise it would be strong competition for their local transportation companies.

The official word for this is "cabotage":

Cabotage is the transport of goods or passengers between two points in the same country by a vessel or an aircraft registered in another country

(Wikipedia)

Usually these rights are agreed upon in bilateral agreements between countries. Within the EU member states cabotage is allowed and heavily used (e.g. Ryanair) but outside the EU cabotage is rare.


Actually the flight you mention, KL573, is a direct AMS-DAR flight and does not stop in Kilimanjaro (JRO).

Another KLM flight, KL569, does stop in JRO on its way to DAR. It flies the AMS-JRO-DAR-AMS route. You can book this flight from AMS to JRO or from AMS to DAR, but also from JRO to AMS (via DAR) or DAR to AMS. You cannot book the JRO to DAR leg without the continuing leg to Amsterdam.

So there should be people boarding in JRO when you are on your way to DAR. These people will not get off in DAR though, they will continue to AMS.

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    $\begingroup$ You may not have seen passengers embark because if they're touring the country they wouldn't go back to JRO to board a connecting flight to DAR, they'd travel overland, making boarding rare -- after all, you've implied that traffic to JRO is mainly tourists, and there's not much incentive for KLM to push people to do JRO-DAR-AMS instead of DAR-AMS. $\endgroup$ – Chris H May 29 '15 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ How do they keep people from booking the JRO-DAR-AMS leg and then jumping ship at DAR? $\endgroup$ – Sean Mar 1 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ I would imagine the fares stop people from doing that. $\endgroup$ – Michael Lugo Mar 1 at 19:26

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