Air Tanzania plans fleet revival with Bombardier types

Addis Ababa
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Troubled Air Tanzania is to restore some of its operations next spring, boosting the fledgling fleet it has operated since losing its Boeing 737.

The airline intends to introduce with more Bombardier Q300s as well as CRJs and an Airbus A320.

"We have been operating just two Q300s since our leased 737 had an accident in Mwanza," said Air Tanzania chief David Mattaka, speaking to ATI at the African Airlines Association annual meeting in Addis Ababa.

Despite its skeleton fleet, Dar es Salaam-based Air Tanzania has continued operating some domestic services to Kigoma, Tabora and Mwanza, but Mattaka says it will be expanding soon.

"The plan now is to add more Q300s to cover our entire domestic operations, meaning we will go to Zanzibar, Mtwara, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Sumbawanga, Songea and Mbeya. Then we intend to take two Bombardier CRJs on lease-purchase to cover some regional routes like Rwanda, Burundi, Entebbe and the Comoros," he explains.

Ultimately Air Tanzania is planning to take an Airbus A320 to serve Johannesburg and start operations to Malawi, Lusaka, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mattaka says the fleet developments will be government-backed, although he adds that the airline also has some assets which it can use as collateral against bank loans.

"A number of people are interested in Air Tanzania. Dar es Salaam is a good hub, with many regional passengers going intercontinental. The government is talking to them, with a view to asking them for proposals and finally picking one," says Mattaka. "We would prefer to have an airline which does not have a conflict of interests with us, but any willing investor is welcome."

He declines to name any of the interested parties. Air Tanzania is in separate codeshare discussions with both Air Malawi and RwandAir.