Southern Africa: National Carrier On SADC Flight Expansion Drive

TANZANIA'S national flag carrier-Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL)-is setting strategies to fly to five Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states to strengthen relationship, do business and facilitate economic growth in the region.

ATCL Managing Director Engineer Ladislaus Matindi said yesterday during the ongoing SADC industrialisation week that ATCL focuses at flying higher to ensure economic growth in the region.

So far, ATCL flies to South Africa, Zambia, Comoros and Zimbabwe. According to the ATCL boss, the national airline is working on strategies to fly to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"We are now eying the DR Congo as our next destination in SADC member states.

We are already flying in four countries," he said. On market share, the Managing Director said the company is recording tremendous performance and that the market share has grown to 75 per cent.

He said the company projection was to grow to at least 40 per cent this year but the company has recorded 75 per cent, which is a good sign for the growth of the company.

"We are doing great in that area, our projection was to grow by 40 per cent but as we speak, the market share has grown by 75 per cent," he noted.

On the launching of the direct route from Dar es Salaam to London, Engineer Matindi said plans are already in place and hopefully the company will start flying to Europe by early next year.

"We are envisages reviving our London route and if all go as planned, we will probably launch our route to London early next year," he explained.

Commenting on the route to Guangzhou, China, the ATCL boss said preparations have reached 70 per cent and that everything is in place for the new route.

"It is one of the potential routes we are eying, we have good economic and social relations with China and therefore this is one of potential opportunities that ATCL looks forward to exploit," he said.

On the state of airline business and competition, Engineer Matindi said there is no way an airline company could escape from the competition from its rivals.

He said ATCL is aware of the challenges and that it has strong strategies in place to address them.

"When we launched our route to South Africa, we knew clearly that South Africa has a strong airline company but we went there and we are facing challenges, it is part of the business and I can tell you that so far we are doing great," he said.

On Monday, President John Magufuli launched SADC industrialisation week ahead of the upcoming SADC Summit, which is scheduled for August 17 and 18, this year.

This is the fourth SADC industrialisation week and it is running under the theme; A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-regional Trade and Job Creation.

The event is being held from the 5th - 9th at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) in Dar es Salaam. It highlights ongoing regional efforts to realise the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063.

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