Skip to main content

ATCL totally grounded, as board meets incessantly

Perennial problems in finance and administration facing Air Tanzania Company Ltd (ATCL) have worsened as the national carrier halted all its flight schedules this week.

The beleaguered national airline flew once last Monday to Hahya in the Comoros Islands and that was the last flight it could offer after it halted domestic trips the previous week.
From May 18 ATCL has been running it business relying on a single aircraft, Boeing 737-500 leased from a Dubai based company, Aerovista.

Prior to that the national airline was on the ground since early April when the only operational plane, Bombardier Dash 8 was damaged in an accident at Kigoma airport.
The Guardian on Sunday has learnt this week that the newly appointed board of directors led by Salum Msoma was compelled to hold lengthy meetings in bid to find a workable solution on the matter.

Sources privy to the ATCL management and the board told this paper that the board decided to halt operations so as to have ample time to hold discussion with Aerovista on the leasing agreement dispute.
“The board met three times this week and would be meeting again on Monday, as there are several matters to be sorted out. The matter at hand is to set a short-term plan from July-December,” the sources indicated.

The board is acting in state of urgency so as to submit the said short term plan to the Ministry of Transport to chart the way forward.
“The ministry is of the view that the leasing agreement is not in favour of the government but was profiting the aircraft owners, Aerovista,” they said.

ATCL’s acting Chief Executive Officer Captain Lusajo Lazaro told this paper that the airline had suspended some of its services to pave the way for negotiations on the agreement, but two days after that statement the airline was no longer airborne.
Captain Lazaro who took over in June after termination of services of his predecessor, Engineer Paul Chizi had declared that the national flag carrier would continue to operate on some crucial routes including the Comoros.

Last week when winding up House debate on his ministry’s estimates, Transport Minister Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe said there was a concrete plan to revamp ATCL, specifying that procurement of two brand new aircraft was on the cards. He could not however provide specific timing of the purchase.

Dr Mwakyembe said the second 50-seat Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft which is undergoing major technical maintenance refereed to as ‘Check C’ at the Dar es Salaam Hangar would be ready for operations at the end of August.
However, well placed sources at the Ministry of Transport told this paper that it would be unlikely to have the plane ready within time specified by the minister.
“If the parts were to arrive today from abroad where they are undergoing maintenance it would take not less than three weeks to finalise their fitting before operations commence. Since they are yet to arrive it is not foreseeable that the said timeline can be met,” they affirmed.

This paper has reliably established that important parts of the plane such as landing gears have been transported to Canada, while one of the two engines is in Italy and the wings are in the United Kingdom.
“The payments for the maintenance on the said parts are yet to be settled by the government and this is the main reason for the delay in release of the parts. There is bureaucracy at the ministry on this matter at the expense of ATCL,” the ministerial official intoned.

Last Sunday this paper reported that while the airline management attributed the suspension of some operations to the review of the leasing agreement, ATCL insiders insisted that ATCL owed Aerovista (owners of Boeing 737-500) close to $1 million (Sh1.6 billion).
“As per the leasing agreement ATCL has to pay $2100 per operating hour and the aircraft has been operating at a minimum of six hours a day and at a maximum of eight hours a day.
No down payment has been made so far, which has angered the owners and thus decided to ground the plane,” the sources affirmed. The aircraft had operated for 76 days since May 18 before troubles began.



Most Viewed Posts

Job Opportunities at Air Tanzania (ATCL)

VACANCIES ANNOUNCEMENT Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) is in the process of revamping its operations and has introduced new equipment to its fleet. The Company is therefore inviting applications from qualified personnel to fill various positions. 1.      POSITIONS:  1.1. Dash 8 – Q400 Mechanical and Avionics Certifying Engineers (6 POSTS)     a)    Qualifications·         ·          Must possess a valid Aircraft Maintenance Engineers License (ICAO TYPE II).  ·         ·          Must possess a valid Dash 8 – Q400 Approval/License. ·      Must have successfully completed Dash 8 – Q400 type course from an Approved Training Organisation.        ·       Must have Aircraft Maintenance working experience, as a certifying engineer, of not less than 5 years; 2 of which being on Dash 8 – Q400. Experience must include release to service certification after “A” Check and above.        ·          Computer literacy·         ·          Fluency in English·        

Job Opportunities at Air Tanzania: Pilots-in-Command, Co-Pilots,Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and Cabin Crews.

Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) is in the process of revamping its operations and has introduced new equipment to its fleet. The Company is therefore inviting application from qualified personnel to fill various positions. 1. POSITIONS: 1.1  Pilot-in-Command – Dash 8 (11 Posts) a) Qualifications: Must possess Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and with performance “A”.Must additionally achieve the following:- ·          Minimum of 4000 hours flying experience of which 2000 hours must be command on multi-engine  aircraft; Above 17 ton. ·          Group 1 endorsement on DASH 8 or Equivalent with a minimum of 500 hours command on type; ·          Pass an oral interview and flying acceptance check conducted by the Company; ·          Must pass a Base and Route check with an Instrument Rating within 10 and 70 hours respectively; ·          Track record of good performance as a Commander and no accident record. b) Duties and responsibilities : ·      

Job Vacancy At Precision Air - Cabin Crews (10-Posts)

                                                                                                                  JOB VACANCY Precision Air Services Plc is a fast growing private Tanzanian airline which operates in Partnership with Kenya Airways, with its strategies to expand wings beyond East Africa and Africa. In order to keep our services at a higher level and meet our customers’ maximum satisfaction We wish to invite applications from suitably qualified candidates to fill in this challenging position. POSITION:           CABIN CREWS(10-POSTS) REPORTS TO:     CHIEF CABIN CREW DUTY STATION: DAR ES SALAAM                            ROLE PURPOSE OF THE STATEMENT You will be reporting to Chief Cabin Crew/Assistants Chief Cabin Crew - Precision Air Services PLC. Please take note of your responsibilities. Consistently give quality customer service to passengers in a safe environment for their comfort and satisfaction KEY ACCOUNTABILITIE