Following the announcement a few weeks ago by the Tanzanian government that two Bombardier Q400NG turboprop aircraft have been purchased for national airline Air Tanzania, due for delivery from next month, has the airline also made plans to re-open several routes it dropped due to lack of aircraft in recent years.
ATCL is, when the two new aircraft join the Bombardier Q300, eyeing to restart flights to several domestic destinations where it will predominantly compete with privately owned Precision Air, which operates a fleet of ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft to airports which are not capable of receiving jet aircraft.
Fastjet, the only all jet airline in Tanzania, operates out of Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza and Mbeya offering frequencies and fares hard to match, a reason why Precision Air withdrew from the Mbeya route last year.
Air Tanzania’s management will therefore have their work cut out for them if they want to resume regular scheduled flights to such destinations as Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Mbeya or Zanzibar, given the level of competition and the airline’s past reputation of flying today but perhaps not tomorrow.
No doubt will aviation pundits keep a close eye on these developments and upcoming announcements by Air Tanzania which routes the ailing national carrier will eventually return to.