AIR TANZANIA AXES MORE STAFF
(Posted 29th August 2013)
Air Tanzania has according to a source in Dar es Salaam reduced their staff from previously over 300 to 128 in the latest phase of retrenchment of a hugely inflated staff body.
Operating one single Bombardier Q300 aircraft the airline has been bleeding money, in part attributed to the deeply entrenched workers union resisting any changes, which has in the past been a major factor for potential investors to shy away from buying shares in the fully government owned company. Past debts, like the initial maintenance bills for the airline’s turbo prop incurred when the aircraft had been sent to South Africa to carry out major checks were paid up by government last year, though there is still a major debt in connection with the lease of an Airbus A320 hanging over the company, a debt incidentally guaranteed by the Tanzanian government and therefore ultimately liable to pay up.
‘From what we hear they want to send home even more. Some are coming to retirement age anyway and others may just be surplus because with one aircraft you really cannot sustain that many staff. I think it also comes at a time, or is made public at a time, when there is fresh talk of an Oman based company interested in buying shares. Personally I think that is far from reality because news reports spoke of 8 planes for a new ATCL. But first you need the routes, the licenses to fly to places. So it would have to be a gradual process. The Omanis are also shrewed business people and may not want to invest if they have a lot of legacy debts and staff problems to deal with. So government has to make sure that ATCL is stripped of deadwood, debts are retired first before they can have anyone bring in money’ contributed the source sending in the report before mentioning that in a future retrenchment about half of those now spared may still face the sack. Watch this space for regular and breaking news from Eastern Africa’s vibrant aviation sector.