ATCL finalises plans for flights to Mumbai, Bangkok, Beijing

02Jul 2019
Henry Mwangonde
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
ATCL finalises plans for flights to Mumbai, Bangkok, Beijing

GROUND has been set for the inaugural flight by Air Tanzania Corporation (ATCL) to Beijing via Bangkok after a visit to the airline yesterday by the Thai Royal Ambassador to Tanzania, who came for a briefing on the progress reached and areas of possible assistance.

Ambassador Cherdikiat Atthakor, who is also the permanent representative to the Nairobi-based United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN-Habitat came to see how far preparations for the inaugural flight were progressing.

During the visit, he was told that preparations had reached around 80-percent and all was going on well.

The envoy expressed optimism that the new routes will make more Thai people visit East Africa as well as encourage investments.

“Negotiations are ongoing with Thai Airways to see how we can gather passengers for them from East Africa to Bangkok and for them to gather passengers for us from Asian countries to EAC countries,” said ATCL public affairs spokesman Josephat Kagirwa.

Kagirwa said preparations for the Mumbai route have been finalized and the route has been set for July 17.

Last week the airline launched the first commercial flight to Johannesburg, the commercial capital of South Africa.

During the inaugural flight, the company started with 90 passengers to and came back with 70 passengers. It will be flying four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

At present, the revamped national airline operates ten domestic routes as well as regional flights to Bujumbura, Entebbe and Moroni.

He said the company chose Bangkok because it is the hub for Asian countries, asserting that the move will help bring more investors and Asian tourists to learn more about Tanzania and East Africa.

ATCL has begun extending its services to international skies with flights to Entebbe and Bujumbura, and will be followed by Mumbai, Bangkok, Beijing and Johannesburg.

Three years ago, Tanzania developed a programme to revitalize its national carrier which included purchasing six new aircraft up to 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 international destinations.

Air Tanzania was established as Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC) in September 1977 after the collapse of the regional airline, the East African Airways. For the most part the airline had been operating at a loss and depending on government subsidies.

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