The Government of Tanzania recently signed a purchase agreement for two Q400 aircrafts with Canadian manufacturer Bombardier.
The aircrafts will be delivered with a 76-seat configuration at the price of USD62m.
They will be used for commercial airline operations by Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), the national carrier of Tanzania.
“Tanzania is a large country with some challenging airfields, and the Q400 turboprop’s capability to operate at these airports, its jet-like speed, long-range cruise capability and outstanding turboprop economics were key factors that guided us in selecting the aircraft for our operations,” said Leonard Chamuriho, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport, Works and Communication of Tanzania.
“The Q400 aircraft is a showcase for the continent, where it has proved itself to be extremely efficient as well as cost-effective,” said Jean-Paul Boutibou, Vice President of Sales – Middle East and Africa at Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
The purchase is part of ATCL’s plan to expand in Tanzania and the African region.
ATCL is the flag carrier airline of Tanzania based in Dar es Salaam with its hub at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA).
It was established as Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC) in 1977 and wholly owned by the Tanzanian Government until 2002 when it was partially privatized.
The Government therefore reduced its shareholding to 51% and entered into a partnership with South African Airways.
The partnership ended in 2006 when the Government of Tanzania repurchased the shares and the airline became once again a wholly owned government company.
Currently (2016), Air Tanzania flies only to Kigoma and Comoros but it plans to launch at least 11 new routes, including Dodoma, after the 2 new aircrafts are delivered.