AIR Tanzania future looks bright as it is growing strong with fleet expansion, increased destinations and frequencies and significant loss reduction due to improved revenue collection system.
The ATCL's Head of Communications, Josephat Kagirwa told the 'Daily News' yesterday that improvements seen in raising revenue collection to an average of 700m/- per month in 2006 to 4.5bn/- per month last year has boosted the prospects of doing better in the lucrative regional aviation market as prepares to fly to Entebbe and Bujumbura this month.
"We are bullish about future prospects. With new aircraft, we get new destinations and more frequencies. Our sales are going up and revenue is increasing," he said in an interview.
The state-owned airline, which managed to cut on losses from 14bn/- in 2016 to 4.3bn/- last year while still investing, plans to fly to Harare (Zimbabwe), Lusaka (Zambia), Johannesburg (South Africa) and Guangzhou in China within the next four months.
According to a strategic business plan, up to 2022, Air Tanzania will be flying to Nairobi-Kenya, Lubumbashi in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kigali in Rwanda, Accra in Ghana, Lagos in Nigeria, Dubai in United Arab Emirates, Muscat in Oman and London in the UK.
Speaking at a meeting with vendors in Dar es Salaam earlier in the week, the ATCL's Managing Director, Ladislaus Matindi, said improved efficiency by the management team and support from travel and tourism agencies contributed to the rising performance of the national carrier.
"Improved revenue collection results from government efforts to revamp the national airline, sending positive signals of a bright future with a huge impact and contribution to economic growth," he said.
He said although it was not performing well, it managed to survive and rose to control 24 per cent market share in the competitive domestic aviation market.
Airline on-time performance reached 90 per cent last year compared to 66 per cent in 2016. ATCL manages a fleet of five aircraft consisting of one Bombardier Q300 and three Q400 turboprop engine aircraft as well as the newly acquired Boeing 787 Dreamliner all acquired by the government in its ambitious plans to revive the national flag carrier so as to boost tourism and transport sectors.
It is expecting two Bombardier CS300 jetliners and one more Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
The government wants to increase direct flights between Tanzania and Asian and European markets in a bid to boost annual foreign visitor arrivals.
Currently tourists and other visitors use several connecting flights to come to Tanzania because of lack of strong airline.
Tourist arrivals in Tanzania soared by 5.6 per cent in 2017, raking in 2.3 billion US dollars (over 5tri/-), from 2.1 billion US dollars (4.8tri/-) recorded in 2016.
According to the 2017 International Visitors' Exit Survey Draft Report released in Dar es Salaam recently, the tourism sector continued to improve visitor arrivals reaching 1,327,143 in 2017, over three per cent higher than the 1,284,279 arrivals in 2016. Tourism is the country's biggest foreign exchange earner.