Air Tanzania losses down as it starts East Africa flights

Saturday August 25 2018

ATCL's Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner bought by the

ATCL's Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner bought by the Tanzanian government lands at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam at 17.18pm (+3GMT) on July 8, 2018. PHOTO | THE CITIZEN 

ALLAN OLINGO
By ALLAN OLINGO
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Air Tanzania, which is gearing up for its international debut flight as part of efforts to expand operations, narrowed its losses to $1.9 million in 2017, from $6.2 million the previous year.

Chief executive Ladislaus Matindi attributed its improved performance to intensive marketing and government support.

“Our revenue has grown sixfold from $305,660 in 2016 to $1.9 million last year, while our market share has increased to 24 per cent from 2.5 per cent when we relaunched,” he said.

The airline is expected to fly to India in September, with a possible European touchdown in 2022.

The carrier also plans to start direct flights from its Dar es Salaam hub to Entebbe next week, with a possible stopover at Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha.

Air Tanzania, which bought a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in July, expects a second one in early 2020, for deployment on the European route, with a possible first stop in London.

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The national carrier also said it is expecting delivery of two A220-300s from Airbus towards the end of the year, to bolster its regional routes and launch new African destinations.

“We are making these potential routes a priority due to low competition, but we are aware of the potential of European destinations. However, we are also alive to the dangers of the aviation business and especially establishing new routes, so we are cautious. We hope to breakeven in the next five years,” said Mr Matindi.

The airline is expected to start its second regional route after Comoros, with flights to Entebbe and Bujumbura, bringing competition to the doorstep of the Kenyan and Rwandan national carriers, which have over the years dominated these routes via their respective hubs in Nairobi and Kigali.

Its first Dreamliner, which has been plying the Mwanza, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam routes, is expected to be deployed on the regional routes before its September flight to India.

The airline plans to start flights to Guangzhou in China in December.

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