Air Tanzania yatajwa kuwa moja ya mashirika matatu ya ndege yanayotamba Afrika


Senior Member
Jun 23, 2013
Major East African airlines have raised stakes in the battle for the region's skies with new domestic and long-haul routes and increased flight frequencies.

Kenya Airways (KQ), Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir and Air Tanzania have in the recent past been fueling one of the most aggressive and expensive expansion drives that have seen the national carriers venture into new routes and some uncharted territories.

State-owned Air Tanzania, which has over the years been trying to gain a foothold in the regional air transport industry since it severed links with South African Airways (SAA) in September 2006, is the latest to join the raging battle for the skies.

The Tanzanian flag carrier, revived and revamped by President John Pombe Magufuli following years of turbulence with huge debts and losses, on Monday, February 11, unveiled new flights to Lusaka, Zambia, and Harare, Zimbabwe's capital. understands Air Tanzania is also planning to fly long-haul flights to India and China using two Airbus planes and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner as from March 2019 in what is seen as a strategic move to counter similar ventures by KQ, RwandAir and Ethiopian Airlines.

According to the airline's CEO Ladislaus Matindi, the international flights were expected to take off much earlier but were delayed by the process of reviving the carrier's International Air Transport Association (IATA) membership, a process that has since been concluded.

Elsewhere, Ethiopian Airlines, currently touted as the largest and most profitable airline on the continent, also recently announced it would be launching flights to John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York, United States.

Ethiopian had most recently unveiled Africa's first ever direct flight to Russia and increased flight frequencies to Europe with the launch of flight to Manchester in the United Kingdom (UK).

The Ethiopian flag carrier, wholly owned by the Government of Ethiopia, just like Air Tanzania, has also been expanding its main hub, Bole International Airport, in efforts to accommodate its ever swelling passenger volumes.

One could argue Ethiopian's planned introduction of flights between Addis Ababa and New York is a move to counter KQ's launch of direct flights between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Kenya's largest international airport, and JFK International Airport.

The Kenyan national carrier made history on October 29 when Dreamliner Boeing 787-8 landed in New York in what was the first ever direct non-stop flight between Nairobi and the US city.

Additionally, KQ in January 2019 disclosed plan to introduce direct flights to Italy and Switzerland.

The flag carrier returned to the Rome route with Boeing 787 Dreamliner and will now extend the journey to Geneva four times every week effective June 2019.

“The addition of flights to Rome and Geneva will be welcomed by both our leisure and business customers,” said KQ boss Sebastian Mikosz.
The airline had also launched direct daily flights between Nairobi and Somalia's capital city Mogadishu but later suspended the planned Mogadishu-Nairobi flight citing delays in getting all the crucial operational requirements.

Not to be left behind is RwandAir which is said to be targeting Israel's Tel Aviv route with flights from its main base at Kigali International Airport.

According to the airline's boss, Yvonne Makolo, they have already inked a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement with Israel and are just waiting to take off once everything is in set.

The Rwandan flag carrier is also eyeing China and US routes as it seeks to expand its networks both regionally and internationally.

Chanzo: Air Tanzania joins regional battle for lucrative new routes

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