8-plane pledge for Air Tanzania

Air Tanzania, the national flag-bearer, will soon be in the skies again thanks to Oman investors who have promised to shunt in eight new airplanes to invest in the ill-fated local airline.

This was revealed in Dar es Salaam on Monday during a tour of the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) by the Alhayat Development and Investment Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sheikh Salim Al Harthy.

Sheikh Al Harthy said that his company would bring in four Embraer175 and four Bombardiers in a move aimed at turning Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) into a giant airline in the country.

“We have come here following an earlier tour to Oman by His Excellency, President Jakaya Kikwete, who asked investors from our country to come and explore the wider range of opportunities available here and we are interested in airline services,” he said.

Sheikh Al Harthy noted further that his company would also train 10 young aircraft maintenance engineers who will also specialize in maintenance of Bombardier and Embraer175.

He requested the ATCL management to select beneficiaries who will also act as trainers after they have completed their studies under the company’s sponsorship. Sheikh Al Harthy further added that to start with, the company will invest 100 million US dollars and that the investment will increase gradually.

“We want to provide competitive airline services in East Africa and provide business and economy classes with international standards adhered to. We will also give special training to pilots and air hostess to provide best services,” he said.

He added that the company also plans to go international by bringing in more planes and ensure that Air Tanzania becomes one of the biggest airlines in the region. Sheikh Al Harthy noted further that the company will also erect a 25-storey building in Dar es Salaam Central Business District also in a joint-venture with ATCL.

“The building will be multipurpose with airline offices, recreation facilities, hotels and we also plan to have a big shopping centre within the building and so many other services,” he said. 

Earlier during the tour  the investors also showed interest in collaborating with the Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) to install modern security facilities at the JNIA.

The Minister for Transport, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, welcomed the intention whole heartedly, saying that revival of ATCL was one of the government’s top priorities.

“I am delighted by the intention of our Oman brothers and we welcome them to supplement our efforts to revive ATCL,” he said.

Dr Mwakyembe noted that the government will take time to go through a Memorandum of  Understanding prior to signing in a move aimed at ensuring a win-win situation in the investment to be made. 

He said that the government has already cleared the ATCL balance sheet in ensuring that the company is debt- free and create a conducive environment for interested investors.
Source: Daily News, reported by Abdulwakil Saiboko, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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