Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), commonly acknowledged as Air Tanzania, took delivery of its new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner in Dar-es-salaam. The new aircraft becomes the largest ever owned by the country’s flag carrier.
The ceremony, held at Julius Nyerere International Airport in the commercial hub, was witnessed by President John Pombe Magufuli.
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Other dignitaries that graced the event include Vice President of The United Republic of Tanzania, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan; Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa; leaders of commerce, various institutions and stakeholders of civil aviation in the country.
Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which was manufactured in the US, touched down from Seattle at the country’s major international gate at 05:17 PM on Sunday, July 8. The 262-seater aircraft is expected to bolster the country’s aviation and tourism industries.
The much-awaited Dreamliner, which is valued at $224.6 million, is one of the four newly purchased passenger planes by the Tanzanian government in a move to resurrect the national carrier which had only one ramshackle plane as recent as 2015.
Other aircrafts that have already been purchased by the government are from Bombardier Aerospace Company (BAC), Dash8 Q-400, which are already in use. Two planes from Bombardier CS 300 series are also expected to arrive before the end of the year while another Dreamliner will join the fleet in 2020.
According to Boeing, the 787-8 Dreamliner is a family of technologically advanced, super-efficient airplanes with new passenger-pleasing features.
The new Dreamliner aircraft will start its first route outside the continent, flying to Mumbai (India) Bangkok (Thailand) and Guangzhou (China) starting September. Other planes are now used for domestic routes between Dar es Salaam and the Comoros islands, Zanzibar, Arusha and Mtwara.
Since President Magufuli assumed power in 2015, he has shown strong determination to get “The Wings Of Kilimanjaro” back to the skies.