Dar es Salaam. Air Tanzania Corporation Limited (ATCL) has set its sights on the West African routes with Lagos and Accra being high on their priority list.
This was said today by ATCL’s Ladislaus Matindi after a brief meeting with the Nigerian delegation which was led by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Tanzania Sahabi Isa.
“Our five-year strategic plan which ends in 2022 a shows that we shall have started plying the Lagos and Accra routes but that will depend on whether we have enough passengers on that route,” said Matindi.
According to Mr Matindi ATCL has seven international routes and is expected to launch the Guangzhou route before the end of the year naming the other routes as Lubumbashi in the DR Congo , Kigali Rwanda and London UK.
Over the weekend Air Tanzania moved a step closer to launching direct flights to Britain after securing three landing slots at London’s Gatwick Airport.
The route from Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport to Gatwick via Kilimanjaro International Airport in the north of the country will be the national carrier’s first foray into Europe.
The carrier plans to start with three flights a week — Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays — using its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
ATCL communications manager Josephat Kagirwa could not confirm the date of the launch of the London flights.
Air Tanzania has over the past year reintroduced flights to Harare, Bujumbura, Entebbe, Moroni and Johannesburg. It also recently started flying to Mumbai.
For the UK route, the airline still has to fulfil other requirements, including securing EU safety standards certification, which is proving complicated with the UK still trying to exit from the EU later this year. If Brexit happens before the certification is obtained, it means the approvals will have to come from two signatory bodies instead of one.