FOLLOWING the re-opening of Tanzania’s airspace, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) has continued to evacuate Tanzanians and other nationals who have been stranded outside their native countries due to Covid-19.
On Sunday, the national airline carrier’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner repatriated 131 Uganda nationals who were stranded in India, being the first route of the ATCL’s direct chartered flight from Mumbai to Entebbe, Uganda.
Before evacuating the Ugandans, the Dreamliner flew to Mumbai from Dar es Salaam with 100 passengers who were being evacuated from Tanzania.
From Mumbai, the flight had 201 passengers among whom 131 were Ugandans who dropped off in Entebbe and the remaining 70 passengers were Tanzanians returning back home.
ATCL Managing Director, Eng Ladislaus Matindi told the ‘Daily News’ on Tuesday that the company is doing everything in its capacity to maintain businesses despite the coronavirus outbreak.
On Monday morning, another ATCL operated flight flew to Mumbai, India with over 70 passengers, and on its way back, it evacuated 247 passengers including 150 Zambians and 95 Tanzanians.
“From Mumbai, it flew directly to Lusaka in Zambia where it dropped 150 Zambians before coming to Dar es Salaam with 95 passengers,” the ATCL said in the statement.
This is the second time for ATCL to repatriate Zambians; The first trip was performed last month, this year. The national carrier had already operated a special chartered flight to Comoros.
The flight to Zambia also carried Zimbabweans who upon arrival to Lusaka, proceeded to their final destinations by their own means.
Other chartered flights of ATCL that have been operated so far were for Turkish citizens who were stranded in Ethiopia as they were flown to Dar es Salaam.
According to the statement, in the next one week the company is expecting to repatriate Tanzanians who are stranded in China.
“We are still in talks with the Chinese citizens who are in Tanzania wishing to be repatriated to their country, if things go well, they will be flown as well,” he said.
Tomorrow, ATCL will operate another special flight to Mauritius to repatriate Tanzanians and citizens of other nationals who are stranded there.
“There are other requests for citizens of other neighboring countries including Rwanda and Sudan,” Eng Matindi said, adding that they would continue to repatriate those in need.
ATCL also operates cargo flights to various destinations to cater for the growing demand for air cargo services following the spread of Covid-19.