Thursday, September 29, 2016

ATCL out to recapture market share lost to rivals

REVIVED Air Tanzania Company Limited, with brand new two Bombardier Q400NG turboprop aircrafts, will fly to twelve destinations and offer business class travel to passengers as it seeks to recapture its market share.

Speaking during the inauguration of the two aircraft in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said ATCL would be flying to Zanzibar, Mwanza, Dodoma and Arusha, and Kilimanjaro.
Other destinations would be Bukoba, Kigoma, Tabora, Mbeya, Mtwara, he said adding it would also be flying to the Comoro. The two aircraft bought by the government from Bombardier Inc., a Canadian multinational aerospace and transportation company, for the ailing national carrier, were inaugurated by President John Magufuli yesterday.
Prof Mbarawa said the new aircraft with 76-seat capacity and dual-lavatory configuration, would make ATCL the only airline with business class in domestic routes. He said each would have six seats in the business class.
The minister said the new aircraft were most ideal for domestic routes because they are superior on short haul flights with low operating costs compared to aircraft with jet engines due to low fuel consumption.
Q400 aircraft can also land on airports with short or rough runways compared to jet engine aircraft. According to him, the Q400 aircraft have a cruising speed close to that of most jet engine aircrafts.
To qualify Prof Mbarawa’s remarks on low operating costs for the Q400 aircraft, President Magufuli said it is estimated that fuel costs for Dar es Salaam to Songea route for jet engine aircraft would be 28m/- while for the Q400 it is 1.0m/- only.
President Magufuli announced the government had set aside 100bn/- for upgrading of regional airports which include those of Iringa and Musoma regions.
He said under the upgrading plans of airports in upcountry region, the government would upgrade runways of Iringa and Musoma airports to tarmac level to enable the new aircraft fly to the regions and attract also other airlines to serve the regions which are currently underserved in air travel.
He directed the new ATCL Managing Director, Ladislaus Matindi to plan routes saying he did not see why they should not venture Nairobi and elsewhere. “Go and plan well. I don’t see why you should fly here only while you can go Nairobi or elsewhere,” he said.

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