Air Tanzania (ATCL) will begin direct flights to India and China when the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner arrives in July and extend regional routes to Bujumbura, Burundi and Entebbe, Uganda using the Bombardier Dash 8 Q 400.
The ATCL’s Head of Communications, Josephat Kagirwa told the ‘Daily News’ that, the routes have been chosen after a feasibility study proved they were commercially feasible.
The 787 Dreamliner, expected to be a flagship aircraft for ATCL, will be the fourth in a total of six aircraft that President John Magufuli’s administration plans to purchase to revive the state-owned airline.
Two more Bombardier CS300 aircraft are expected to beef up ATCL fleet before embarking on more international and regional routes. ATCL revival is one of government flagship infrastructure development projects in a bid to transform the country into a regional transportation hub. It currently flies to destinations such as Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Kigoma, Mbeya, Mtwara, Mwanza, Tabora and Moroni in Comoro.
The ATCL Head of Communications said the decision to begin with Mumbai was purely on a commercial basis after a feasibility study established it was viable to venture into the markets.
“The routes were chosen for commercial purposes. Normally, before we decide on a route a feasibility study must be conducted to establish if it will be commercially viable...,” he said.
“This includes getting statistics of fliers between the two cities, social and trade relations between the two markets. You must also look at what your rivals do and economic trend and of course peace and security of the potential market.”
In January ATCL announced vacant positions for at least eighty-eight (88) cabin crew ahead of fresh arrivals of four brand new planes.
ATCL Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ladislaus Matindi told the ‘Daily News’ in January that, the public-owned airline had since recruited 30 cabin crew and had advertised for 88 more posts to fill potential vacancies to be created beginning next June.
“… so we have decided to announce the (vacancies) for 88 cabin crew so that the qualified recruits may have a ‘lead time’ of at least three to four months of training to enable them learn how to handle the aircraft before the arrival,” the ATCL chief told the ‘Daily News’.
After recruitment of the right candidates from a pool of applicants and training them the aviation experts would then deploy the cabin crew to planes that would be graded into three categories, namely, large, medium and small.