In yet another aircraft deal between Tanzania and Bombardier, worth about $200 million, the largest East African country has written aviation history by becoming the African launch customer for the brand new and only recently certified CS300 series.
Two months ago two brand new Bombardier Q400NGs were delivered and received in Dar es Salaam with great fanfare. Both aircraft are already deployed and have helped Air Tanzania to reopen several domestic routes, and a third such aircraft is due, as part of the deal, to join the fleet in 2017.
While the Q400NGs will all have a single class cabin with 76 economy seats, two jets coming to Tanzania are offering passengers a dual class layout of Business and Economy and will have WiFi connectivity. This is only the second such confirmed order in Africa following the two new Boeing B737-800NGs of RwandAir – one already delivered and the second one due in May 2017 – which proved to be the trailblazer for this sort of inflight equipment on single-aisle aircraft.
When the three additional aircraft have been delivered, Air Tanzania operates a fleet of all Bombardier aircraft, a fact which no doubt sweetened their deal with the manufacturer vis a vis training, maintenance support, spare part availability and most important price, comprising of a Bombardier Q300, three Bombardier Q400NG and two CS300s.
‘The domestic market in Tanzania as well as the regional market are becoming more competitive as both business and leisure travel are steadily increasing’ said Dr. Leonard Chamuriho, Permanent Secretary at Tanzania’s Ministry of Works, Communications and Transport before adding: ‘Therefore it is vital to operate aircraft that offer superb passenger comfort and amenities. Of course, high reliability, operational flexibility, as well as excellent fuel efficiency and economics are also necessary. Both the Q400 and CS300 aircraft more than satisfy these parameters’.
‘We are delighted that the Q400 aircraft which entered service with Air Tanzania earlier this year are proving their superior economics and versatility. The CS300 aircraft will allow Air Tanzania to expand both its domestic and regional markets, and it has the range to open new international destinations such as the Middle East and India at the lowest cost.
The C Series jet aircraft have the right attributes to develop these markets’ then added Mr. Jean-Paul Boutibou, Vice President, Sales, Africa and the Middle East, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
Including the purchase agreement announced today, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for 566 Q400 and 360 C Series aircraft.