The carrier, in which the Tanzanian government holds a majority shareholding, has been grounded since March 2011 when its only airworthy aircraft, Bombardier DHC-8-300Q (reg 5H-MWF, serial 474) went for heavy maintenance. The inaugural service for the relaunch was operated by the same aircraft on 1 November 2011, from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma and Tabora. The company's managing director and chief executive was quoted at the relaunch press conference as saying that four more aircraft would be acquired in the next few months through "lease purchase arrangements" and apparently with funding from the government.
Air Tanzania's AOC was previously suspended by the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority on 1 March 2010, after its only jet aircraft, a Boeing 737-200, suffered an undercarriage collapse. The airline was subsequently allowed to resume domestic services with its one airworthy DHC-8, until it went for maintenance last March. Air Tanzania is believed to have had a second DHC-8-311Q (reg 5H-MWG, serial 462) in storage for some years.
Given its troubled recent history, Air Tanzania's return to the skies will have come as a surprise to those commentators that expected the country's leading airline, privately owned Precision Air (which is affiliated to Kenya Airways) and the second-ranked carrier, the multinational, Lonrho-backed, newcomer Fly540, to effectively take over the erstwhile flag carrier's limited route network in the aftermath of the most recent grounding.
Fri, Nov 4 2011 10:13 AM
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Filed under: Dar es Salaam, DHC-8-Q300, Airlines Resuming Services, 737-200, Fly540, 5H-MWF, 5H-MWG, Air Tanzania, Precision Air, serial 462, serial 474