ATCL suspends trips for three weeks

Mr Chizi
Air Tanzania Company, national flag carrier, has suspended its services for three weeks while reorganising itself for hiring a plane following an accident involving a Dash 8-300 aircraft owned by the firm which skidded off the runway at Kigoma Airport on Easter Monday.

Passengers who had booked flights with the company have been redirected to other airlines. The company hopes that in three weeks it will have two planes in the sky, one of them a state-owned plane which is undergoing service.

Speaking to reporters at ATCL House in Dar es Salaam yesterday the acting director general, Mr Paul Chizi, said the accident on Monday this week has forced the airline to stop its services for three weeks,  while declaring that the move would lead to a 400m/- loss.

Mr Chizi said there is a team of experts on the ground assessing the damaged plane before issuing a final report on whether the Dash 8-300 would be serviced or not. He maintained, however, that the plane has insurance which would cover all the damages.

“Actually the adjuster from abroad will land here tomorrow (today) for the final assessment before issuing his report concerning insurance issues…but an earlier report indicated that the plane was written-off,” Mr Chizi said.

Trying to defend the public entity, the director general said although the company has no planes at the moment it does not mean that ATCL has collapsed. He said the company still has Air Operator Certificates, human resources and route networks.

Mr Chizi said for the time being his company has enough pilots who can have sky control in six planes at once, adding that ATCL has done a lot to return all frustrated pilots on board.

However he said for the last 35 years, ATCL has recorded only three accidents hence proving that it’s a safe airline. Mr Chizi said that in the Airline’s long-term investment plan, which it has submitted to the government, it has requested for US$200 million that would see the company flying at least six brand new planes.

He said on average each plane needs an investment of about $32 to $42 million. He added that since the government has several priorities, the company has sought to engage other financial partners who could inject money into the state-owned company.
Source: The Citizen,www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported by Mkinga Mkinga, ,
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