Tanzania will spend TSh468 billion to acquire new aircraft for its national carrier Air Tanzania in the coming financial cycle. This disclosure was made by Prof Makame Mbarawa while tabling the budget estimates for the Works and Transport Ministry in parliament on 23rd May 2022.
He said the five aircraft to be purchased include a Boeing 767-300F-a cargo plane, two Boeing 737-9 aircraft and a 787-8 Dreamliner, and one Dash 8 Q400.
He said the Tanzania Government is keen to make the country a transport and logistics hub in East and Central Africa and that it has signed contracts for the purchase of five more aircraft for ATCL.
The contracts will see the country purchasing a Dash 8 Q400, two Boeing B737-9 Max, a Boeing B787-8 Dreamliner and a Boeing 767-300F for cargo.
The purchases of the planes, which are expected to arrive early next year, will bring ATCL’s fleet to 16 aircraft.
.The new budgetary commitment comes at a time when it was early this year revealed that two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft recorded losses worth TSh23.6 billion despite Air Tanzania cutting its losses from TSh60.2 billion to TSh36.5 billion in 2020-2021.
The report also revealed that ATCL is among 42 government entities that recorded losses or overspent in two consecutive years, thus becoming one of the corporations that cannot pay debts within a short period.
However, President Samia Suluhu Hassan, in her address in April, said the government would continue to nurture the national carrier to enable it to remain afloat.
She cited huge debts and the need to find a solution to the problem.
These include debt relief and or waiver of some taxes and levies as is done in other countries so that the airline can thrive.
“The aviation business is difficult, we will try to study the trends of this business in the world and see how to improve the company,” she said.
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