AIR TANZANIAS NEW CEO SPEAKS OUT ON FUTURE
Capt. Lazaro Lusajo, earlier this week appointed as Acting Chief Executive Officer of Air Tanzania following the sacking of his predecessor Paul Chizi, expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the Minister for Transport while swiftly reassuring his staff, the airlines clientele and the public at large that the changes at the helm of the airline could lead to service interruptions.
Capt. Lusajo, a veteran aviator with over 12.000 hours of flying experience and having served at the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority too in the past, was broadly welcomed as a new broom and is expected to fill the vacancies created by the suspension of four top executives by selecting personnel of his choice, allowing him to create a senior team ready and able to weather the competitive storm ATCL is now flying into.
With only one B737-500 operating right now between Dar es Salaam and Mwanza via Kilimanjaro, and a crash landed Bombardier Q300 under repair, the state owned airline will be trying to get additional jets and turboprops on lease to widen their domestic operations to other places like Kigoma, Dodoma, Zanzibar and other key towns across the sprawling East African nation, before extending flights to the region like Nairobi, Entebbe and Kigali amongst other options. The market in Tanzania is dominated by Precision Airs extensive operation with both B737-300 and ATR turboprop aircraft, covering Tanzania like not even Air Tanzania used to do during its heydays, while having also a firm grip on regional flights to Kenya and Uganda.
Capt Lusajo specifically addressed his intention to swiftly conclude therefore additional aircraft procurement which would see ATCL enabled to fly on the lucrative and high traffic routes now by default left to the private sector competition. Aviation observers in Tanzania welcome the appointment as a purely professional decision without political undertones but cautioned that the strong unions hitherto dominating ATCL in their cat and mouse game with management, would sooner rather than later re-emerge and demand a bigger slice of the cake, which however has not yet even been baked. Watch this space.