Govt orders two new, special Airbus planes

20Sep 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Govt orders two new, special Airbus planes

THE Tanzania Government Flight Agency and Airbus yesterday signed a purchase agreement for two new Airbus 220-300s fitted with additional ultra-modern features.

The implementation of the pact will increase Air Tanzania Company’s (ATCL) fleet of operating aircraft from the current six to eight, apart from two other planes expected to arrive in the country within two months.

“We are signing today to mark an official legal agreement with Airbus for the purchase of two more planes, but they will be modified to give more comfort to our customers,” said ATCL Director General Ladislaus Matindi, who witnessed the signing.

The new planes will feature a screen different from current ones which have individual small screens for each seat.

TGFA chief executive officer Dr Benjamin Ndimila, who signed the agreement on behalf of the government, said ATCL was making history under the leadership of President John Magufuli.

Airbus Vice President for Sales for Africa, Hadi Akoum, said he was happy to see the headway made by ATCL and noted that the partnership had just started.

The manufacturing of the planes usually takes one and half years but this may take longer because of the features that are to be included and the fact that Airbus has received more than 200 orders owing to high demand.

Three years ago, Tanzania developed a programme to revitalise the national carrier, including the purchase of six new aircraft from 2016 to 2018, payment of debts and provision of start-up capital, improvement and modernisation of business.

The acquisition of the additional aircraft constitutes part of government plans to grow Air Tanzania’s operations across Africa and other international destinations.

Air Tanzania was established as Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC) in September 1977 after the collapse of the regional East African Airways. It was privatised and operated as a limited company, while retaining the acronym even after the government repossessed its shares and restored its original name.

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