DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (eTN) – There are reports that things are not good in Tanzania’s embattled airline, Air Tanzania, following the grounding of three out of its five planes due to serious technical faults.
Reports on the grounded planes came just few days after a section of the airline’s management complained about the Tanzanian government’s failure to release monthly subsidies amounting US$500,000 to subsidize its operations.
The troubled Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) had its management contract with South African Airways (SAA) terminated almost two years ago, giving a clear way for the Tanzanian government to take its total control, waiting for outright investor.
Since then, the troubled airline has been a big burden to Tanzanian taxpayers. Passengers have been always complaining of poor services despite higher ticket prices set out by the airline’s management.
Tanzanian Transport Minister Shukuru Kawambwa said ATCL should operate commercially while the government is looking for an appropriate investor to take over the most troubled airline in Africa.
This loss-making airline operate mostly domestic flights with a Boeing 737 on its internal flights and an Airbus for its East and Southern African regional flights.
But reports said the aged Boeing 737 was due for major maintenance and overhauling termed “check C.” The plane and other two Dash 8 Q300 aircraft with capacity to fly 50 passengers each are all grounded at two airports in Tanzania.
The Boeing 737 required engine change which was already been ordered from the leasing company, Celtic Corporation of Canada.
One of its Dash 8 aircraft developed a crack on one of its cockpit windows forcing the company to order a new class at a cost of US$26,000 from South Africa.
The Dash 8 Q 300 planes were purchased by ATCL to operate on short domestic routes. To operate its current routes, ATCL spend over US$1 one million for fuel per month.