15 December 2016

Tanzania, Boeing Affirm Order for Super Jetliner

Photo: Daily News
Air Tanzania plane.

Boeing Company and Tanzania have confirmed an order for one 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft valued at 224.6 million US dollars (482.89bn/-), the first ever wide-body order for the country's national carrier.

The aircraft will be operated by the country's flag carrier, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL). According to a statement issued by Mr Keelan Morris of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Communications, the order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing's Orders and Deliveries website.

The Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Professor Makame Mbarawa, yesterday confirmed the Boeing order in a telephone interview with the 'Daily News'. Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets and satellites worldwide.

The company also provides leasing and product support services. Speaking from Mwanza, Prof Mbarawa said: "The Permanent Secretary (PS) in my ministry is in a better position to respond to that because I am currently in Mwanza. But I understand that we have already ordered everything and I know that the aircraft will be coming in the country," he added.

On his part, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice-President, Latin America, Africa and Caribbean Sales, Van Rex Gallard, said the plane would help Tanzania to boost tourism. "I am pleased to welcome Air Tanzania as the newest member of the Dreamliner family," said Van Rex Gallard.

He added that his firm was honoured that Air Tanzania has chosen the 787 to operate its long-haul operations. "The 787 will significantly increase passenger numbers feeding on to its domestic flights thereby boosting overall tourism to Tanzania," he quipped.

The confirmations from Boeing and the government came just few days after President John Magufuli reaffirmed his intention to acquire additional four aircrafts to boost tourism in the country by introducing direct international flights.

On December 5, Dr Magufuli held talks with Boeing's Director of Sales Jim Deboo during which he expressed the government's intention to buy three long-range aircrafts out of the envisaged four. He had added that his administration was determined to acquire large planes from the US airplane manufacturer.

The president further revealed plans to purchase one 262-seater Boeing 787 Dash 8 DreamLiner, whose delivery is expected in June 2018, stating further that initial payments for the aircrafts had already been effected.

"We receive hardly two million tourists annually in Tanzania against other countries like Morocco that get over 12 million back-packers and this is mainly because we lack a vibrant national carrier to transport tourists directly from their countries," Dr Magufuli has stated.

According to the president, the government also plans to acquire one Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 NextGen aircraft, which is expected to arrive by next June - as well as two Bombardier CS300s with the carrying capacity of between 137 and 150 passengers.

These are set for delivery between May and June, 2018. In the statement, Mr Morris explained that the 787 is a family of technologically advanced, super-efficient airplanes with new passenger pleasing features.

In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 787 will provide ATCL with unmatched fuel efficiency and environmental performance, using 20 to 25 per cent less fuel and with 20 to 25 per cent fewer emissions than other airplanes.

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