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Air Tanzania gets thrown a lifeline

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By Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Africa | Jan 05, 2009

Air Tanzania gets thrown a lifeline
Image via hecitizen.co.tz

The Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) had restored the AOC, or Air Operator Certificate, of Air Tanzania, permitting the airline to resume flight operations.

This development comes after the airline had finally produced the required documentation for TCAA and ironed out the discrepancies that had led to the AOC to be withdrawn some weeks ago under unclear circumstances.

Sources in both Air Tanzania Company Ltd (ATCL) and TCAA again reiterated that the airline’s planes had been and continued to be completely airworthy and the suspension of the license was entirely over documentation issues. A statement that again raised more questions than provided answers.

However, the precarious financial situation of the airline caused a further delay in starting flights again, while waiting for government to make good of promises to inject much needed fresh capital into the parastatal and sanction a new cooperation partner. It was later learned that the Tanzanian government did eventually inject some 2.5 billion Tanzania shillings into ATCL’s accounts and has promised to avail further funds to get the national airline back into the air. It is expected that just as soon as this is happening the International Air Transport Association will then also restore full membership to ATCL.

It is also expected that a few individuals in management positions may be sacked, over the airline’s suspension, once probe reports by two committees set up to investigate the causes of the suspension and problems have been handed over to the government.

The Chinese airline initially lined up for this purpose, however, has not moved any further with its plans, probably as a result of the global economic slowdown and the decree of the Chinese government to slow down or temporarily halt aviation expansion plans until an economic recovery is well underway.




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