ATCL attempts another return to the skies



Air Tanzania’s Acting Chief Executive, Captain Milton Lazaro, yesterday announced in Dar es Salaam tha the airline would resume operations with their leased B737-500 this Friday, now that the discussions with the Dubai based lessor have apparently been ended. The airline will attempt to recover some level of market share following their unceremonious withdrawal of services some months ago, which left their already soiled reputation in further tatters, as passengers scrambled at the time to get refunds from them to permit buying tickets on Precision Air, which immediately added extra flights to Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Mwanza. In fact, it was learned that it will be the Dar es Salaam – Kilimanjaro – Mwanza route ATCL wants to tackle first, and information from travel agents in Dar speak of throw away fares on offer for the service. Once the airline’s crashed Bombardier Q300 has been repaired and inspected before getting the certificate of airworthiness back, ATCL will then, said to be in early November, also resume flights between Dar and Zanzibar and Arusha Municipal before eyeing other routes on the domestic network again such as Mtwara which could be launched in mid November.

Promises of ‘unmatched services’ caused widespread amusement amongst travel agents and other aviation staff who quipped in texted messages ‘let them fly again first before making yet more promises they cannot keep’ in clear reference to past broken promises and commitments. Subsequently was the announcement of getting ‘two big planes’ by the ATCL CEO also falling on a wave of disbelief with a regular source saying this morning by phone: ‘Let them fly first and learn their steps again. And someone tell me where the money is coming from, the tax payer for sure who will be looted once again. Our government is hopeless if they continue to waste our little resources on trying a dozen times to revive ATCL. Will they ever learn? Time for change if they do not!’ in a thinly concealed reference that the time for waste has from government must end or else pay the price in the next general elections. Watch this space for updates if and when flights will actually have resumed and where to.