Aviation news update – COTWU asks for sacking of managers and financial bailout for ATCL


The Communications and Transport Workers Union in Tanzania has, following a series of negative headlines and scandals, also demanded from government to sack the ‘inept’ management of Air Tanzania, a call which can only be supported. What cannot be supported though was the instantly made second demand that the Tanzanian government recapitalize Air Tanzania and keep them afloat, while seeking a ‘strategic investor’ – a search which has been going on for years and yielded nothing but expensive ‘fact finding missions’ and otherwise hot air. With the tendency that such a financial injection may yet again be used for purposes other than settling huge outstanding debts – the airline has been sued in South Africa by agents whose ticket refunds have been pending for several years now, incidentally without IATA taking any decisive action over this travesty of rules and regulations – it is not recommended that money is being wasted on an parastatal, which sell by date has long expired.

Aviation experts in Tanzania seem largely united in their opinion that ATCL is a dead horse not worth flogging any longer and that government instead should make life easier for other Tanzanian airlines by granting them support, incentives and beginning to treat them like partners in progress and not a threat to the outdated notion that the ‘national airline’ was under threat by them, especially as there is no longer even a resemblance of a national airline left.

It has often been pointed out here that while verbal commitments chase each other from government functionaries, the ‘real’ action behind the scenes is lacking greatly, as the TAA’s failure to create a timely link from existing taxiways to the new Precision Air hangar amply demonstrates. Fly540 sources too quietly say that getting operating permits in the first place was not easy and that route expansion should be facilitated with greater ease. Other regular aviation sources were generally suggesting that the entire legislative and regulatory framework for aviation be subjected to a stakeholder review, with KCAA compelled to take observations and suggestions more seriously than done in the past to enable growth for a sector, which feels stifled and undervalued and certainly not understood by the powers that be.

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