Minister for Infrastructure Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, has revealed some of the problems facing Air Tanzania (ATCL).
He said for several years government has been trying to bail it out by pumping in more and more capital, but it continued limping. As a result it was decided that as from June this year the airline would be restructured. “It is not enough to do minor jobs. We intend to transform ATCL into a new airline with the cooperation of the private sector,” the Minister said – Nipashe.
He said efforts by the government to find a reliable investor for the cash-strapped airline were continuing. The Chinese firm China Sanangol International Limited (CSIL), which had earlier shown interest, appeared to be withdrawing.
The Minister said that ATCL was spending more than it earns. The firm’s revenue between July 2009 and March 2010 was Shs 7.8 billion while its expenditure stood at Shs 26 billion. During this period ATCL had carried a total of 63,362 passengers and 253 tonnes of cargo.
The Communication and Transport Workers’ Union (COTWU) has also registered its concern over the plight of ATCL, which they said they saw collapsing unless concerted efforts were made to resuscitate it.
Air Tanzania Corporation Limited (ACTL) management stated in April that it could not repair the B737-200 aircraft that crash landed at Mwanza airport in February since the cost of doing so would be too high. The Corporation would be referring the matter to its insurance company – Guardian on Sunday.