Air Tanzania to Expand International Routes

East African flag carrier Air Tanzania is eager to increase the number of destinations it serves both continentally and outside of Africa.



May 20, 2023

DALLAS — East African flag carrier Air Tanzania (TC) is eager to increase the number of destinations it serves both continentally and outside of Africa.

During a workshop of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the airline's CEO Eng. Ladislaus Matindi listed the routes that the company intends to launch, including those to London (LHR) in the United Kingdom (UK), Dubai (DXB) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Muscat (MCT) in Oman.

The CEO added that TC was getting ready to start flying to places in West Africa such as Accra (ACC) in Ghana and Lagos (LOS) in Nigeria, Juba (JUB) in South Sudan, and Lilongwe (LLW) in Malawi.

The airline is also anticipating resuming service to Johannesburg (JNB) in South Africa and expanding service to Kinshasa (FIH) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2018, Air Tanzania took delivery of its initial A220 in December, becoming the first African carrier to operate this Airbus jetliner – which is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat commercial air transport market. Photo: Airbus

Air Tanzania Achievements

Speaking about the successes so far, Matindi stated that there has been a rise in the number of travelers, who have gone from 4,000 in 2016 to an average of 90,000 every month. He added that "The amount of cargo being airlifted has increased to an average of 300 tonnes per month from the 5 tonnes that were recorded in 2016".

Additionally, TC has been successful in forming partnerships with other major airlines, including Air India (AI), Qatar Airways (QR), Emirates (EK), Ethiopian Airlines (ET), and Oman Air (WY). "The number of local destinations has increased to 15 from three, while there are now 11 international destinations compared to one in 2016," said Eng Matindi.

As a result, TC has increased its market share from 2.4 % in 2016 to 57 % today, and its monthly revenue has increased from 700 million Tanzanian shillings (US$297,500) to 30 billion Tanzanian shillings (almost US$12m).

Matindi also shared the success story of TC creating a workshop capable of maintaining all its aircraft, which allowed the carrier to avoid spending US$166,400 that would have been required if the planes had been sent elsewhere with the MPs of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Furthermore, there has been an increase in the number of employees, with the company now having 106 pilots and 129 engineers, up from 11 and 27 respectively in 2016. Most of the engineers are local, added the CEO, adding that "105 of the pilots are Tanzanian and one is a Mozambican... This demonstrates how Tanzania has advanced in the aviation industry since we have also been able to educate pilots and cabin staff of Air Senegal(HC)."

Air Tanzania DHC-8. Photo: Steves Avia​tion, CC BY 2.0

Challenges for Air Tanzania

The TC boss spoke to a parliamentary committee about the difficulties his expanding airline was facing, saying, "Despite these achievements, we are facing a number of challenges, including the high cost of operation, government debt, and high costs that are caused by lease contracts between Air Tanzania Company Limited -ATCL (TC) and Tanzania Government Flight Agency (TGFA),"

The government-owned airline now operates a fleet of 12 aircraft, comprising two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, four Airbus A220-300, one Dash 8-Q300, and five Dash 8-Q400. TC anticipates adding one Dash8-Q400, two Boeing 737-9s, one Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, and one Boeing 767 Freighter to its fleet before the end of this year.

TC now serves 26 destinations, 11 of which are regional and international and 15 of which are local. The following cities are among the local travel destinations: Dar es Salaam (DAR), Dodoma (DOD), Kigoma (TKQ), Tabora (TBO), Mbeya( MBI), Mtwara (MYW), Zanzibar (ZNZ), Mpanda (NPY), Kilimanjaro ( JRO), Songea(SGX), Bukoba (BKZ), Mwanza (MWZ), Iringa(IRI), Arusha(ARK), Geita ( GIT)

Regional and international destinations of TC include China's Guangzhou (CAN), the Comores' Hahaya (HAH), the DRC's Lubumbashi (FBM), Egypt's Cairo (CAI), India's Mumbai (BOM), Kenya's Nairobi (NBO), Uganda's Entebbe (EBB), Zambia's Ndola (NLA) and  Lusaka (LUN), Zimbabwe's Harare (HRE), and Burundi's Bujumbura (BJM).

Air Tanzania is headquartered in Dar es Salaam and its main hub is located at Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR).

Featured image: In 2021, Air Tanzania ordered a 787-8 Dreamliner, a 767-300 Freighter, and two 737 MAX jets to expand service from the country to new markets across Africa, Asia, and Europe. Photo: Boeing