Tanzania inks deal to buy two passenger planes from Airbus

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DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania has signed a contract with Airbus for the European planemaker to supply two passenger jets for the country’s national airline to help expand its small fleet and extend its network of destinations, a government official said on Friday.
Benjamin Ndimila, the Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania Government Flight Agency (TGFA), told Reuters that under the contract Airbus would supply two A220-300 aircraft.

President John Magufuli has been personally championing the revival of Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), joining other regional governments that are launching or revamping national carriers to share in Africa’s growing aviation business.

Last month, neighbouring Uganda also relaunched its national carrier.

TGFA, under the president’s office, leases aircraft to Air Tanzania.

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Air Tanzania’s existing fleet includes one Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, two Airbus A220-300 jets and three DHC Dash 8-400 aircraft, formerly known as the Bombardier Q400 turboprop.

Ndimila said the new Airbus planes would have a more luxurious interior than in the existing aircraft.

“The new planes will have an improved entertainment system including screens in each seat,” he said.

Airbus, he said, had told Tanzania the planes would be ready in about a year. He declined to say how much they would cost.

Magufuli’s government reckons a more efficient national airline will help tourism, a mainstay of Tanzania’s economy.

On Monday, he said the airline carried 75% of domestic air traffic, up from 3% three years ago.

“So far the business is doing very well. We are overwhelmed by the demand … we wish these planes could be delivered even tomorrow,” Ndimila said.

Reporting by Nuzulack Dausen; Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Mark Potter

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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