Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) yesterday launched its first direct flights to Dodoma from Dar es Salaam in a historic event that will promote business and travel ties between the two cities and upcountry regions.
Launching the route yesterday, Prime Minister Mr Kassim Majaliwa said the development is part of the government decision to enable Dodoma become a fulladministrative capital for the country.
"Negotiations are progressing well to build an international airport in Msalato. All the process are indeed going on well," he announced at a gathering shortly after ATCL plane made its first landing on Dodoma soil from Dar es Salaam.
ATCL will operate twice a week scheduled flights using its Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, stretched to 78 passengers. The fleet is scheduled to be connecting to Kigoma every Monday and Friday.
The premier explained that the government will continue expanding and renovating Dodoma Airport and the airstrip after all the legible residents are fully compensated as per the law. "We're opening up new opportunities for Dodoma residents, this will give Dodoma a deserving status as the country's capital.
" Mr Majaliwa reaffirmed the government commitment to the national flag carrier but challenged ATCL management to maintain an opposedcustomer service which fit to international standards.
The new flights schedules which was announced to be cheap at a price of 180,000/- is set to raise a serious challenge to other route operators whose fare are as high as 400,000/-.
"It's high time that business people, government officials and ordinary people start flying with Air Tanzania," The occasion was also attended by the former prime minister Mr John Malecela, the National Assembly Speaker Mr Job Ndugai, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister (Policy, Parliament, Youth, Employments and the Disabled) Ms Jenista Mhagama and the Dodoma Regional Commissioner (RC) Mr Jordan Rugimbana.
ATCL Board Chairman Engineer Emmanuel Korosso said ATCL delayed launching flights to Dodoma and other parts of the country as pilots were pursuing training course. "We're expecting to launch flights to Mtwara, Tanga, Tabora, Mafia and Iringa.
We are determined to offer best customer services in all our routes," he said. Minister Mhagama told the gathering that the fifth government is committed to meet all its promises including the revival of ATCL.
"All the flights which have been promised will come to service different parts of the country," she noted. On his part, Mr John Malecela, former cabinet minister said the government move to launch Dodoma route will spur economic development in the region.
The Ministry for Works, Transport and Communication embarked on an expansion plan of Dodoma Airport following the decision by the government to officially migrate to Dodoma from Dar es Salaam to allow the newly purchased flights land and take off at the airport.