Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tanzania reiterates its desire to add more Bombardiers’ aircrafts

THE government has reiterated its desire that as from next month it will receive one more Bombardier Q400 plane and that a further two Bombardier SC300 aircraft will arrive in 2018. Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said this on Thursday this week noting that the government’s procedures to purchase those jetliners was in progress. The purchase of the CS300 airliners, which are the most economical aircraft on the market in their class, will make a total of five new planes the government would have purchased in a period of two years. Only days ago, the first such CS300 was delivered to global launch customer AirBaltic after Swiss, part of the Lufthansa Group. Treasury Registrar (TR), Mr Lawrence Mafuru, recently said the government has so far made a 30 per cent advance payment for three more airplanes, including a Bombardier SC300 jetliner, and another $10 million advance payment for a 200-seater Boeing plane. The money for the airplanes went to Canada. 


Last September, the government received two Bombardier Q400 planes which have already started operations in the Tanzanian skies as commercial flights. It is expected that the delivery of two Bombardiers SC300 planes in 2018 will then facilitate the resumption of flights to more domestic and regional destinations. This comes at a time when local rivals Precision Air and Fastjet in Tanzania remain in loss making territory and coincides with Fastjet suspending their flights from Dar es Salaam to Entebbe and Nairobi, giving Air Tanzania unexpected openings to take on such vacated routes with smaller and more efficient aircraft. The sale of the first ever CS series aircraft to Africa by Bombardier is a coup of sorts over other manufacturers, in particular Embraer and will probably help to open the African market for such jets in the 100 – 150 seat market. Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) received the Q400 aircraft from Canadian manufacturer Bombardier following the purchase agreement signed in August 2016. The aircraft were delivered with a 76-seat configuration at the price of USD 62m. The purchase is part of ATCL’s plan to expand in Tanzania.

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