DAR-ES-SALAAM-- The revival of Tanzania's national airline, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), will coontinue with the expected arrival of more new aircraft this year, says Director of Communications Gerson Msigwa.
One new aircraft, a Bombardier Q400 turboprop, has has left Canada and is expected to arrive in the country anytime this week. Msigwa said here over the weekend that three more planes, including two Bombardier CS 300 from Canada and one-Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner from the United States, are expected to arrive later this year.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications, Dr Leonard Chamuriho, said the Bombardier Q4000 aircraft left Canada on Friday but he was unable to state exactly when it would arrive here but added that the information would be received soon.
ATCL Managing Director Ladislaus Matindi said the eagerly awaited Bombardier Q400 would be a welcome addition to the fleet as it would significantly improve the performance of the airline. The 76-seater Q400 would be third such aircraft in the fleet and the number is expected to rise to six later this year.
Currently, the available planes operate on domestic routes between Dar-es-Salaam and Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Kigoma, Kagera, Dodoma, Mbeya, Ruvuma, Mtwara, Zanzibar and Comoro routes. The purchase of the new aircraft is in implementation of President John Magufuli's promise to revive the national carrier which was on the verge of collapse.
Bombardier Q400s are planes capable of operating in difficult conditions. When inaugurating the first two Bombardier Q400 planes at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in September 2016, Dr Magufuli said the planes were of good quality and that the government had made an advance payment of 40 per cent before finalising the payment later.
The Head of State also promised to purchase long-range aircraft for intercontinental routes. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner was the number one choice.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK