YEAR ENDER 2023: Tanzania’s aviation industry makes great strides

DAR ES SALAAM: THE 2023 will remain in memories of all Tanzanians especially to exporters and importers of perishable goods as the country received its first-ever cargo plane, Boeing 767-300 for Air Tanzania Limited (ATCL).

The development not only made it easier and more convenient for traders to transport their products but also diversifying the country’s economy.

With capacity of carrying 54 tonnes of cargo, the plane has been a solution to cargo transportation in Tanzania and Africa at large.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan led other leaders and citizens at the receiving ceremony of the first-ever cargo plane at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam, in which she extended thanks to all Tanzanians for their support.

Dr Samia urged wananchi to continue praying for government leaders to fulfil their noble role of collecting revenues which are critical in executing various development projects including further modernisation of the country’s airline.

She hinted on the government plan of procuring another cargo plane in the near future.

“My pledge to Tanzania is that the government will continue working on all challenges, we need your support and prayers for us to be able to collect more revenue and implement development projects,” Dr Samia said.

The first ever cargo plane landed at the JNIA from the United States of America(USA) at 2.57 pm, where the team of pilots who flew the plane cargo was led by Tanzanian Captain, Ms Neema Swai.

Ms Swai made history as the first Tanzanian pilot to fly the cargo plane Boeing 767-300.

“I was very excited and honoured to fly Boeing 767-300F, the first cargo-only aircraft in Africa,” she said after her historic landing.

At the ceremony, Minister for Transport, Professor Makame Mbarawa said operation of the just arrived cargo plane targeted at stimulating business between Tanzania and other countries in Africa and beyond.

Prof Mbarawa said procurement of the cargo plane is part of implementation of President Samia’s vision of economic diplomacy and multilateral cooperation.

“The ministry will continue implementing all development strategies which will strengthen ATCL’s operation to compete in the aviation markets,” he said.

Prof Mbarawa said his ministry will cooperate with the private sector for cargo airlifted by ATCL to arrive at their destination in time for business and economic development.

“This will be a great opportunity for Tanzanians to export their products abroad for economic gains,” Prof Mbarawa said.

He said the cargo plane presence implies no exporters will be bound to transport his/her goods through long routes to outside markets.

ATCL’s Managing Director, Eng Ladislaus Matindi said the new cargo plane Boeing 767-300F will significantly reduce costs for exporting cargo, mainly agricultural, fisheries and livestock products.

He said the plane has a range of 11,070 kilometres, fuel-efficient 90,770 litres and a speed of 850 kilometres per hour.

Eng Matindi said as of October this year, the cargo plane which kicked off in July carried a total of 337 tonnes of cargo, with a projection of 4,800 tonnes of cargo by June 2024.

He called upon all Tanzanians to effectively use the aircraft as ATCL improves every day to bring world class service delivery closer to them.

Business Expert, Mr Merdad Wilfred based at the Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) commended the government for procuring the cargo plane which will enable perishable agro produces like avocadoes to reach international markets in China and India among others while they are fresh.

“There is an increasing avocado trade between Tanzania and China with the former (Tanzania) as the exporter, I believe presence of the cargo plane can boost sales referring to the fact that trading perishable crops require a time-sensitive shipment” Mr Wilfred told the ‘Daily News.’

He said such the momentous transformation of the country’s airline is critical to meet overseas agro-produce markets include of avocadoes which in return can strengthen farmers’ income and create foreign currency for the country prosperity.

“Business gets better where there are all necessary transports including cargo plane,” Mr Wilfred said.

He appreciated the government for continuing improving other means of transport including roads, railways and maritime saying that they will catalyse the country’s economic mobility.

To enable all small farmers to use the cargo plane, he advised smaller farmers to organise themselves in groups or companies which will be used as their tools for collecting their produces and raise money for airlifting to the international markets through the new cargo plane.

Furthermore, Mr Wilfred urged the government in the incoming 2024 to procure more cargo planes for ATCL to serve the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) cargo.

As the year ends, the ATCL has a total of 14 aircrafts from which 13 are passenger.

According to Boeing the 767-300 Freighter is more fuel efficient than competing aircraft in the medium-widebody freighter market. Excellent fuel efficiency, operational flexibility, low-noise levels and an all-digital flight deck allow the 767 Freighter to support time-critical cargo schedules even at airports with stringent noise and emissions standards.

The 767 has evolved through time to meet ever-changing market requirements.

The 767-300F is the latest iteration of that evolution. It benefits from the advanced avionics, aerodynamics, materials and propulsion incorporated on the Boeing 767 passenger airplanes. Its proven combination of light, durable aluminum alloy and composite structure helps make the 767-300F lighter than competing freighters.

The 767 Freighter is similar in external appearance to 767 passenger airplanes, except for the lack of passenger windows and doors. The interior of the main-deck fuselage has a smooth fiberglass lining. A fixed, rigid barrier installed in the front end of the main deck serves as a restraint wall between the cargo and the flight deck.



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