Tanzania says it has cleaned up what it called a national ‘big shame’ of not owning its own commercial airline despite enormous natural resources.
President John Pombe Magufuli said his government is determined to revive the Air Tanzania Company limited (ATCL). Indeed the country has already received its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
“It’s shameful for a country rich in natural resources like Tanzania not to have a commercial aircraft of its own. We wanted to do away with this shame,” Magufuli said before the new dreamliber touched ground at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA).
He said that reviving the national flag carrier was based on the need to boost Tanzania’s reputation.
Reviving this carrier aims at boosting the country’s tourism. So far Tanzania only received 1.3 million tourists last year despite enormous wealth of tourist attractions.
“we did an analysis and found that countries owning airlines also receive the highest numbers of tourists. We are hopeful that the Dreamliner will boost the number of tourists. Another Dreamliner will be delivered in 2020,” Magufuli said.
Magufuli argues that reviving the national carrier is also focused on bringing the ATLC services closer to Tanzanian people. It has been expensive to make domestic flights and government wants this significantly reduced.
For example it was very expensive to fly domestic destinations like from Dares salaam to Bukoba where passengers forked out of their pockets a million shillings. But with a new aircraft Bombardier-Q400, it trip only costs shs400,000.
In its ambitious reforms, the Magufuli government has already handed four aircraft to state owned ATCL and is to deliver two CS300 jetliners from Bombardier company in Canada by November.
ATCL currently flies 12 destinations up from only 3. It transports 21,000 passengers every month up from 4700 in the past.
The Chairman of ATCL Board of Directors, Emmanuel Karosso says this expansion strategy is starting with regional trips to carry tourists in destinations such as Kigali, Entebbe, Nairobi, Harare and South Africa and more others.