A team has been hired by the Tanzanian government to help restructure the cash-strapped Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) in an effort to revive it.
The team will study and recommend the best way to restructure and run the company, according to the Transport permanent secretary, Dr Leonard Chamuriho. The team is also to come up with the nitty-gritty surrounding ATCL and propose ways of managing it, and the aviation sector as a whole, profitably. It will also look at the right number of employees to run the organization.
“We are looking at a small group of about 20 competent staff and not a load of more than 150 working for a company that has just a single airplane,” he said.
Reports show that the cash-strapped ATCL generates about Sh300 million a month which is spent on paying salaries to about 166 workers and the remaining amount covers operational costs.
The appointed team, he said, comprises members from the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, other independent experts from within the transportation sector and the Attorney General’s chambers among others.
“The team has been at work for two weeks now and is expected to have its recommendations ready within a month… ..We expect it to come up with its recommendations regarding what should be done with the management and trickle down to the rest of the staff,” he said.
Dr Chamuriho however declined to say whether the government planned to bring in foreign experts from countries that have successful airlines such as Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa and Ethiopia.
Tanzania’s President shared that during his recent trip Rwanda, he received some tips from his counterpart President Kagame on how to revive ATCL using the RwandAir model. RwandAir has existed for 14 years now but so far, it has a fleet of eight aircrafts to its name, plying domestic, regional and international destinations from its Kigali hub to Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates.
The government has already paid a down payment of Sh36 billion for the purchase of two aircrafts in what is seen as a sign of seriousness to the President’s promise to revive ATCL.
The airlines are the twin-engined, medium range, turboprop Bombardier Q400 series while plans are underway to buy two more.
“Our plan is to initially start with the two in the interim before purchasing two more… the two aircrafts are expected to operate both locally and international routes mainly in East Africa though,” he said without revealing the planned routes.
After completing payments for the turboprop aircrafts, the government will shift to the ordering of two more jet aircrafts.
Early this year, in a bid to continue operations ATCL resumed its Dar es Salaam Kigoma route via its De-Havilland Dash 8 Q300 Aircraft, which had been undergoing maintenance. The aircraft had been offline for a brief period for major servicing and maintenance at the company’s maintenance facility at the JNIA under the local ATCL maintenance crew.
The return of the Dash 8 Q300 brought to two, the number of ATCL aircraft in operation. Last year, the airline resumed scheduled daily flights between JNIA and Mwanza Airport using a Bombardier CRJ 200 aircraft.
Source: CCTV Africa
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