THE newly leased Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) Boeing 737-500 plane arrived in Dar es Salaam over the weekend and will resume Dar-Mwanza-Kilimanjaro flights starting Friday this week before embarking on international routes.
Speaking at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) shortly after the arrival of the 108-seater plane leased from Aero Vista Dubai, ATCL Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Paul Chizi said that the company will resume flights in one week time.
"After we have stabilized in the local market, we will also look into a possibility of flying to Dubai in the next three months", he said, adding: in the local market "Our loyal partners and supporters should expect top quality services they have missed for some time. What we need is their support as the national flag carrier".
He said the company will enter into joint venture with various international airliners in a bid to extend its wings. "We will do this very carefully to create a win-win situation. There is no point to enter into a contract just for the sake of it whereby ATCL will not benefit", Mr Chizi said.
The new plane has already been inspected by a team of experts from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) in Cairo, Egypt where the aircraft was flown from Dubai and a certificate to fly in the country issued. The plane branded with ATCL corporate colours with its giraffe trademark on its tail touched down at 9:46 pm and was received by the company's overjoyed workers and invited guests.
It is configured to carry 12 passengers in the business as well as 96 passengers in the economy class. He added that the company's mid-sized DASH-8 currently undergoing repairs at Terminal One will be ready in the next six weeks and will help boost the company's service delivery.
The company recently launched a website in order to improve customer service delivery as well as boosting the national flag carrier's efficiency. The website enables customers would to make bookings without having to go through ATCL's offices or agents and enables customers to air their views through social networks.
The arrival of the plane will mark a new era in the fight for supremacy in the Tanzanian skies which has been dominated by Precision Air for quite a long time now.