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Air Tanzania must keep on flying

Air Tanzania must keep on flying

It is an undeniable fact that the national airline has been through thick and thin since its formation on March 11, 1977 immediately after the collapse of the East African Airways (EAA) then run jointly by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

It's a long way since 1977 and one would have expected the airline to be one of the most well-equipped and well-run airlines in Africa. Unfortunately, it has not been so. The airline's alliance with South African Airways (SAA) at one time did not exactly bear the expected fruits, leading to the termination of the 'marriage' and the relaunching of the ATCL.

ATCL was re-launched in September 2007 after the dissolution of the partnership with SAA and once again, the "Wings of Kilimanjaro" was on its own. According to the airline's records, in February 2008, it acquired two Dash Bombardier DHC 8-311, 5H-MWG and 5H-MWF from NAC, Nordic Aviation Conractor A/S.

During October of the same year, it replaced the Airbus A320 on the Dar es Salaam - Moroni, Comoros, route by Dash-8-311Q aircrafts. In early 2010, ATCL signed an 18-month contract with the lessor for operating the remaining B737-200 5H-MVZ.

These weren't big deals in comparison with other well-established airlines but at least we had something to show - and fly. But as it turned out later, the airline's fleet narrowed down to a single plane currently, not a healthier situation for a national carrier by any standards.

Against this background, the often-reported negative goings-on at the airline's administrative corridors have not been making good reading. Although the statement released by the Transport Ministry on the firing and suspension of the five high-ranking officials at the airline was not very specific, there is every reason to believe that financial mismanagement is one of the causes.

Despite all this, Air Tanzania, appropriately dubbed The "Wings of Kilimanjaro," must fly on. The government must do all it can to turn around the airline and make it one of the best in Africa; in the world. Why not?

We need to stick to code of ethics  and conduct for public service

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has expressed concern ...

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Author: EDITOR

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