The Management of Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) plans to bring into the country a second plane in less than a month for Lusaka- Zambia, Harare-Zimbabwe and Johannesburg-South Africa flights, the company’s Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer has said.
Paul Chizi revealed this at Mwanza Airport yesterday during the official launch of the Dar es Salaam-Kilimanjaro-Mwanza flights of the newly leased plane, Boeing 737-500.
“We are expecting to bring in another plane that will be serving on long routes, and if possible we shall widen the passes to Lagos-Nigeria, and Dubai after the business has stabilized,” said Chizi who didn’t want to state the company and the country from which they will lease the next plane.
Earlier, after landing at Mwanza Airport, Chizi urged Tanzanians to be patriotic by supporting ATCL. “We need the support of Tanzanians. You cannot be supporting other companies while your own dies. So it is my hope they have seen our efforts and we are pledging to do our best.”
The CEO said that based on a five-year strategic plan, the company will be able to deliver improved quality services and lease more planes or buy its own planes to serve the nation’s best interests.
Regarding Boeing 737-500, Chizi said it will be in use for six leased months. Thereafter they will continue leasing six months renewably until the company buys its own plane.
Explaining his experience on the plane’s maiden flight yesterday Stephen Ihema, a retired Judge of the High Court, said he was happy to have boarded it and that it was a sign that ATCL was now revising the services that had stopped for a long time.
The retired judge advised that ATCL must have a management that is aware of aviation business. “We hope they will perform to the expectations of majority of Tanzanians.
“But good enough we’ve a CEO who has experience in the industry and has done well in making sure that the company resumes its work,” he noted.
He called on the government to give strong support to the company to enable it to generate enough income to operate competitively. “We need government support... it is not enough to depend on one plane…must work to ensure there are more planes,” he stressed.
For his part, the PPF Pension Fund Zonal Manager Meshach Bandawe advised government institutions to use ATCL planes, saying: “We are sure if all government officials and those working in public departments start using this plane, all that money will contribute to the proper functioning of the company.”
The new plane flew from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza via KIA and then back to Dar es Salaam. There will be two flights a day on the route.
The 108-seater Boeing 737-500 arrived in Dar es Salaam a week ago to operate Dar-Mwanza-Kilimanjaro route before embarking on international flights.
Speaking shortly after the arrival of the plane leased from Aero Vista Dubai, Chizi said ATCL would resume flights within a one week period. “Tanzanians should expect the best services that they have missed for some time.
“Our services are real and customer centered. Time is our main principle so this time we expect to give timely but affordable services,” he said.
Chizi said the company will be entering joint ventures with international flight carriers in a bid to expand its foot print but stressed that the initiative will be on a win-win situation.
He added that the company’s plane undergoing repair at Terminal One would be ready in the next six weeks and help boost ATCL service delivery.