The comeback of the Tanzania national flag carrier into the skies is of great significance to the country as it will yet again begin operations along the Dar es Salaam route.
This flag carrier was founded in 1977 as Air Tanzania Corporation – ATC, following the dissolution of the East African Airways and it has been affiliated with the African Airlines Association from the time of its establishment.
During its peak days back in 1980s, Air TAnzania had several international, local plus regional routes and its hub was in Dar es Salaam for its numerous international carriers.
Since ATC had powerful regional plus domestic itineraries, many international airlines arrived at the present day Julius Nyerere International Airport JNIA, because it was simpler to connect passengers going to onward destinations.
Prior to the privatization of Air Tanzania, among its regional routes where Bujumbura, Aden, Mauritius, Dubai, Lubumbashi, Entebbe, the Comoros, Muscat, Harare, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Mombasa, Kigali as well as Lusaka. On the local front it landed in every large town having a nice airport.
Due to its robust regional routes, during those years various carriers such as Aeroflot, Scandinavia Airlines -SAS, Aeroflot plus Alitalia were landing into Dar es Salaam; regardless that the nation was a closed-economy.
Each one of these international airlines withdrew from the Dar frequency because of the decreased business following the ATCL went below. Therefore making the country a dead-end tourist destination.
Experts in the Aviation industry in China say that at the present situation it will be very challenging for a worldwide carrier to operate the Dar route, as there isn’t any link to regional or local itineraries.
The Mr. Duan Baorong the Deputy Managing Director of Avic International, Civil Aircraft Division, informed us that there is a great potential for the growth of Dar es Salaam as the regional hub.
By doing this Nairobi – Kenya will still be East Africa’s hub and Johannesburg the hub in Southern Africa since passengers have an unrestricted selections of onward regional routes as opposed to other airports in the region.
The powerful domestic airlines obtain passengers regionally as well as locally and link them to other internationally recognized airlines which take them and fro their final destinations.
Without any efforts of discussing with, for example, British Airways to restart flying into Dar es Salaam or appealing other carriers, particularly from Asia, is much like grinding water inside a millet machine. On the other hand, the light, finally, is observed at the end of the tunnel for the struggling ATCL.
The transforming of Dar as a regional hub will simply, materialize following the turnaround of the slumbering ATCL. Airlines need a large capital and may produce dividends right away, whether or not positively or adversely.
The Minister for Transport Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe, has assured to entirely involve the National Cabinet in obtaining lasting answers to the intensely in financial trouble national flag carrier.
The ministry has put together a document that will be presented to the cabinet requesting the government of Tanzania to soak up the 113 billion Tanzania shillings debt for Air Tanzania so that it may have a clear balance sheet.
He added that given the present status of ATCL, they can’t invest. Whatever investment done at the moment will be a mere waste of resources since the assets of the company will be seized by way of a court order. Soon after correcting the financial books of ATCL, the investing period will follow.
Dr. Mwakyembe went on to explain to the National Assembly in the budget session of this year that ATCL was processing the acquisition of 6 brand-new aircrafts, as part of intentions to restore this airline.
these planes will include an 80-seat ERJ 170 , two D8 Q400 that are going to be obtained on lease purchase, two Y12E planes obtained from China, a 100 seat ERJ 190 as well as two jets.
Each of the two D8 Q400 aircraft will have a seating capacity of 78 passengers, and they are expected to arrive in the country before the end of this year.