By TZ Business News Staff.
An Increase of routes for Tanzania’s flag carrier, Air Tanzania, is now in sight as purchases of new aircraft continues; destinations in Southern and West Africa are in sight, in addition to existing domestic routes and those planned in Asia and Europe.
Tanzania’s Minister for Works,Transport and Communications, Issack Kamwelwe, said in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, July 9, 2018 that in addition to the currently operational fleet of three 76-seater Bombardier aircraft, the flag carrier is to receive two additional 132-seat Bombadier aircraft in November, 2018.
The two CS300 airplanes from the Canadian aircraft builder are purchased for longer haul on the African continent, according to an earlier report on the African aviation news website Africanaerospace which quotes a senior ATC official disclosing that the CS300s would be used to open up five or six regional routes in Southern and West Africa including Johannesburg O.R. Tambo(South Africa), Zambia, and Zimbabwe, as well as Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal, and one or two destinations in the Middle East.
Minister Kamwelwe announced the arrival date of the CS300s at a ceremony held at Julius Kambarage Nyerere to receive Tanzania’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner purchased by the Government for use by ATC on long distance international routes. The minister also disclosed that Tanzania had already paid for a second Boeing 787 Dreamliner whose delivery is set for January, 2020 when another ceremony will be held to receive the second Dreamliner.
[The Tanzania Government is reviving a literary dead company with new aircraft, giving it the appearance of a cat with nine lives]. The state-run airline has suffered many years of under-investment and mismanagement.
The Boeing 787-8 will be deployed on intercontinental routes to Guangzhou China, to Bombay India and Bangkok Thailand initially, and later to Europe. The first Dreamliner will initially operate the domestic Dar Es Salaam-Kilimanjaro- Mwanza as to familiarize pilots then it will be deployed into the long haul.
Speaking at the ceremony, President John Pombe Magufuli identified three motives as basis for Government decision to revive the State owned Airline: first, the airline’s revival was meant to bring back Tanzania’s respect, second the revival is meant to strengthen air transport in the country with the possible effect of pulling down air fares, and thirdly, to facilitate growth of the country’s tourism sector.
Studies have shown that countries with large numbers of tourist arrivals also have a strong national airline, the President said. He gave examples of Egypt which receives 10.1 million tourists per year, Morocco which receives 12 million tourists per year, and South Africa which receives 10.2 million tourists per year.
Tanzania is ranked number 2 in the world on tourist attractions, the President said.
Home to the famous Serengeti National Park and Africa’s highest mountain Kilimanjaro, Tanzania relies heavily on revenues from tourism – its biggest foreign exchange earner bringing in around $2 billion a year.
But the country received only 1.3 million tourists last year. President Magufuli was once quoted by media lamenting that “tourists have to use several connecting flights to come to Tanzania … this is because we don’t have our own (strong) airlines.”