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ATCL, UK deliberate over direct flights to London

AIR Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) yesterday had preliminary talks with the United Kingdom over starting flights to the North- western European nation.

ATCL Commercial and Business Development Manager Patrick Ndekana said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the envisaged flight to UK is billed to boost tourism, business and investment between the two countries.

The national flag carrier’s plans to resume London flights come just a day after the company’s Managing Director Ladislaus Matindi announced that preparations to inaugurate Dar es Salaam - Guangzhou flights have reached 70 per cent and that everything was in place to start the new route to the East Asian nation.

“We will continue to cooperate with them closely and this will be the first trip direct to Europe.

It is a good move and we are confi- dent that it will bring considerable benefits especially in our economic growth,” he said.

He further noted that ATCL was going in line with the dreams of President John Magufuli to revive air transport and improve the company’s operations.

Mr Ndekana added that the new flights will also promote business and connections to the neighbouring countries.

UK’s Foreign Affairs select Committee Member Andrew Rosindell said it was a huge symbol of friendship and partnership between the two countries, describing the envisaged flights as opportunity to promote tourism and investment in the East African nation.

“We are pleased to come to Tanzania. This is a vibrant partnership and we believe people in Tanzania have so much to offer. There will be a huge benefit for both governments if we start direct flights from Tanzania to the UK,” he said.

British High Commissioner to Tanzania Sarah Cooke and other delegates from the UK also attend- ed the preliminary discussions.

Moreover, Mr Ndekana stressed that ATCL will provide the information on when exactly the direct flight will begin.

The new flight is another development to the company’s efforts to increase regional and international flights and increase competition in the airline industry.

ATCL is confident to regain its position as a serious competitor in air transport market. The ongoing ATCL fleet and network expansion programme include destinations in Africa, Europe, Asia and the US.

Recently, the company secured the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification following the completion and passing of the IOSA audit.

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Author: CHRISTINA MSEJA

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