The airline’s managing director Ladislaus Matindi told journalists yesterday that the company will on 8th May this year start flying to the Chinese city of Guangzhou twice a month with only Chinese passengers allowed.
He said Tanzanians and other nationals with special permits will be allowed into China as visa will only be given on conditions due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is applicable on the going trip but for Tanzanians who are in China and want to return home, this will be in the hands of Chinese authorities as they are the one to allow them,” he said.
According to Matindi the idea to launch the route came as a result of high demand from passengers whose majority are Chinese saying flights may increase as time goes depending on demand.
In China the company will use agents to sell tickets from various Chinese cities adding that the flight launch has been long overdue.
He said the company was confident that the new route will be profitable due to the high demand currently saying it will adhere to all measures required to control the pandemic.
Commenting on the new wave of the pandemic in India, Matindi said the company will continue with the Mumbai route until it receives advice from relevant bodies on the way forward.
“We have relevant bodies who are monitoring the situation when they advise us to do otherwise we will do so but for now we will continue with the route because we haven’t been told anything,” he said.
So far the government has spent 1.2trn/- in purchasing eight aircrafts for ATCL in an effort to revive the airline.
In 2016, Tanzania developed a programme to revitalize its national carrier which included purchasing six new aircraft between 2016 and 2018, payment of debts and provision of start-up capital, improvement and modernization of business.
The aircraft is part of Air Tanzania’s plan to grow its operations across Africa as well as to international destinations.
Air Tanzania was established as Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC) in September in 1977 after the collapse of the regional East African Airways. Since then, the airline had been operating at a loss and depending on government subsidies.