TANZANIA: Government plans to buy nine planes…

air_tanzania.jpgThe government is looking for funds to enable Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) purchase nine new aircrafts in a bid to improve its services locally and abroad.

Infrastructure Development Deputy Minister Hezekiah Chibulunje, said
this yesterday when responding to a question by Nzega MP, Lucas

Selelii had wanted to know what plans the government had to enable ATCL operate smoothly.

Chibulunje said the plan would be implemented in collaboration with
SOINALNGOL International Limited (CSIL), a Chinese firm, which has
shown interest to invest in ATCL.

According to the minister, under the strategic plan a number of pilots
and engineers would be trained while the entire system of running the
airline would be overhauled.

He said the move was also meant to make ATCL deliver efficient services locally as well as internationally.

`The government has already worked on the important documents which
would enable shares of ATCL to be sold before signing a contract with
this investor,“ he said.

Through PriceWaterHouse Coopers Company, the government had also audited ATCL accounts which ended June 2008, he explained.

The minister said the government completed an evaluation exercise of
the airline properties and debts using an international auditing firm,
Ernst and Young.

He said that the Chinese investor on his part would be working on ATCL
management evaluation an activity expected to be done by French`s
Aerogestion Company.

`This evaluation task will be financed by the investor,“ the minister noted.

Chibulunje told the House that after going through those processes, the
government would seal the contract with the investor, before giving
capital to ATCL.

He said that the investor would be given 49 shares in ATCL.

He however said the government was still working on the recommendations of the report by the independent

task force.

Operations of the ATCL have been erratic since the government
privatised with the first strategic partner being the South African
Airways (SAA) who owned 49 against the government`s 51 percent

The marriage of ATCL and SAA did not last long. It broke down, leaving the government owing SAA some USD 4.2 million.

With 300 workers, ATCL has 3 aircraft, a situation which the minister
described as unsatisfactory, saying that the number of workers may have
to be reduced to enable the company operate profitably.

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