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How ATCL business strategic plans are gaining momentum

AS Air Tanzania Limited (ATCL) business plans on transport logistics in order to extend flight schedules for its international routes, bear fruit, the move is a one step towards ensuring development of the national flag carrier that would help increase its profit margin and hence become stable at global market.

Lobbying for its international routes has been taking a quick pace and this is an indication that it has started gaining momentum. So far, the airline has inaugurated the Bujumbura and Entebbe within East Africa region and Comoro routes.

Dar-Lusaka and Harare flight schedules are also in place, two weeks ago the national air carrier announced the launch of direct flights to Johannesburg in South Africa.

Analysts say that, ‘this is a tremendous progress made at the earliest time by the expanding airline within three years of its operation since the company recovery plan started to be implemented by the government’.

ATCL’s Managing Director Mr. Ladislaus Matindi says after launching the South Africa’s route to Johannesburg in July this year, the airline is expected to prepare for other international flight schedules to Mumbai-India and Guangzhou-China whose preparations have reached an advanced stage.

“The two routes will be inaugurated when negotiations with supreme authorities in targeted countries are completed, ” says Matindi.

Another crucial strategic plan for the company is to expand itself in outside aviation market after having established the current routes, later would plan for Lumbumbashi (DRC), Lilongwe (Malawi) and Lagos (Nigeria), Accra(Ghana), London (UK), and Bangkok (Thailand).

“The national air carrier is making these potential routes a priority so as to promote tourism sector in the country and at the same time to increase the competition with old airlines already dominating the aviation industry for a couple of decades.

ATCL ventures into market to improve good service delivery under competition for the development of the nation, while ensuring that is mobilizing its business activities so as to retain their customers intact by making these potential routes a priority.

The new routes for ATCL is part of implementing a five year strategic program which the company had introduced which also shows how it would coordinate its business activities with other airlines in countries it will be going.

The plan was set to start as from July 2017 and ends up to June 2022 whereby in every financial business year, the company will be making a review of the preceding years and see the way forward.

Either in its five year strategic plan, ATCL intends to increase the number of passengers to reach its anticipated target of 720,000 or this will be done through after having bought another plane and expounds its network of transporting its passengers within and outside the country.

Currently, the national flag carrier has its market share shot up to 41 per cent in 2018 from 2.5 percent in 2016 with the volume of passengers which has increased to between 30,000 and 40,000 per month.

ATCL anticipates that by 2021/22 fiscal year, it would increase its economic investments by having many plans to increase its market share so as to enable it stand firm.

The Company has also put in place its plans to increase manpower with focus to reduce too much dependence on its internal operational activities.

A recent audit report by the Controller Auditor General (CAG) for 2017/18 shows that the company has started to cover its previous losses incurred over the period of three years of its operation since it was revised.

The4 recommendations given by the CAG Professor Musa Asaad in his report noted that, the underground development is as the result of a joint concerted efforts made between the management and financial support from the government.

However, in his previous 2016/17 report, the CAG noted that, the airline has managed to reduce annual losses to 4.3 bn/- (US$ 1.9 million) in 2017 from 14.2 bn/- (US$ 6.2 million) the previous year.

Chief Executive Matindi attributed its improved performance to intensive marketing strategy the airline has put in place and which has enabled the revenue to increase six fold from $ 305,660 in 2016 to $ 2.0 million last year, while the market share has increased to 24 per cent from 2.5 per cent since the revival of the airline.

Currently, the national flag carrier has its market share shot up to 41 per cent in 2018 from 2.5 percent in 2016 with the volume of passengers which has increased to between 30,000 and 40,000 per month.

Attributing to such a tremendous increase, the ATCL’s boss says that is due to the acquisition of new six planes the fifth phase government which is under Dr. John Magufuli had bought in support of tourism sector in the country.

ATCL is currently having a fleet of flight planes which includes three Bombardiers Q 400s, Two Airbus (A200- 300), one Fokker50, One Fokker28 and One Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

The Dream liner has a capacity to carry 262 passengers in a distance of 13,620 kilometers non-stop.

Two Airbus A220-300 each one has a capacity to carry 132 passengers with a capacity to travel 5,920 kilometers nonstop, whereas the Bombardier Q 400-8 each one has a capacity to carry 76 passengers and has a capacity of travelling a distance of 2,084 kilometers non-stop.

The government intends to bring more two planes later this year and another one will be brought in the country in February next year, and the essence of doing this according to Matindi is to increase services being provided by the national flag carrier in its move to promote internal and external civil aviation market.

Apart from international flight schedules, the airline also operates domestically and has managed almost all routes in the country that plies from Dar er Salaam to country’s regional centers of Bukoba, Dodoma, Kigoma, Mbeya, Mwanza, Songea, Tabora and Zanzibar respectively.

The country’s largest airport, Julius Nyerere International Airport, is expected to have a new terminal by June next year whereby the airline is expected to dominate.

This would cut Dar’s reliance on Nairobi for transit flights by some airlines. In addition, early this year President John Magufuli commissioned the construction of four radar systems in the country’s four major airports in a move he said would save the government more than $ 528,000 in fees it pays Kenya for the service.

“W e have been paying surveillance fees every year because large parts of our airspace were monitored by our neighbour Kenya, because we have only one old radar station installed in 2002,” President Magufuli said.

“The new radar stations will further strengthen the country’s security and attract more investors within the aviation sector.”

At the same event the minister for W orks, Transport and Communications, Mr Isack Kamwelwe, said plans were also underway to further boost the capacity of ATCL by the government through $ 3 million for repairing the ATCL hangar at the Kilimanjaro International Airport so that old planes are repaired locally instead of sending them outside the country.

* Emmanuel O nyango is a freelance journalist

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