Home » Aviacargo: East African Carrier, Air Tanzania to boost Cargo operation with first cargo plane ahead of schedule

Aviacargo: East African Carrier, Air Tanzania to boost Cargo operation with first cargo plane ahead of schedule

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Air Tanzania Tanzanian Civil Authority

East African Carrier, Air Tanzania is set to boost cargo operation in the country as it is set to receive its first ever cargo plan.

According to thecitizen.co.tz, exporters and importers of perishable goods will now find it easier and more convenient to transport their products as the aviation industry’s capacity of handling such cargo grows.

As part of this drive, Tanzania is expected receive its first-ever cargo plane in April, two months ahead of the initial June schedule.

Exporters of horticultural products say the coming of the Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) Boeing 767-300F, which can carry 54 tonnes of cargo, means that they will no longer be compelled to transport their goods to Nairobi and onwards to outside markets via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

READ: Aviation: East African Carrier, Air Tanzania clashes with Airbus over two grounded aircraft, drags manufacturer to AFRAA

Horticultural exports earned Tanzania $293.3 million during the year ending January 2023.

Speaking on March 20, during a stakeholders’ engagement meeting organised by ATCL, TahaFresh Handling Limited general manager Amani Temu said as exporters of fresh produce, the biggest challenge in the industry was finding space in passenger aircraft for cargo.

“The coming of a cargo plane is going to be a solution to exporters because it will save the extra costs producers, especially those producing flowers and plant materials, incur when they use foreign airports,” he said.

According to ATCL managing director Ladislaus Matindi, the carrier saw the potential of the cargo business through an increase in demand for cargo transportation during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“On an annual basis as of 2021/22, we carried a total of 2,567 tonnes, which is a huge improvement, considering that five years ago we were only carrying 350 tonnes. Our aim to move 3,000 tonnes by the end of 2023.

“This is possible as potential business currently consists 49 percent transit cargo, 48 percent general cargo and three percent courier,” he said.

Mr Matindi added that apart from perishable products, other items include general cargo, live animals, chicks, fish, pharmaceuticals, newspapers and magazines, valuable cargo, express parcels, postal and courier, dangerous goods and human remains.

He said some of the international destinations being considered include China, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Comoros.

Since its revamp began in October 2016, ATCL has acquired 12 aircraft and expanded its network to 14 domestic, eight regional and two intercontinental destinations, with the carrier transporting passengers, cargo and parcels.

In his remarks, Mr Mchechu said it was his hope that if ATCL plays its cards well, it will compete effectively in the global market and sustain the cargo business, especially at this time when the freight forwarding market is growing rapidly.


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