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Thursday, August 17, 2017
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Tanzania orders single 787 Dreamliner

A Boeing Dreamliner.Boeing has confirmed that Tanzania has ordered a single 787-8 Dreamliner for Air Tanzania. The order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website.

Boeing on 13 December said the aircraft is valued at $224.6 million at list prices.

“The 787 Dreamliner will be the flagship aircraft as we renew and grow the Air Tanzania fleet. We aim to establish our long-haul capability by starting flights to Europe, Asia and the U.S.A over the coming years and the 787 is the perfect aircraft to achieve this ambition. Our hub airport at Dar es Salaam is well located to provide connections onwards across east Africa, capitalizing on the growing demand for tourism in Tanzania and throughout the region from intercontinental markets,” Air Tanzania said.

"I am pleased to welcome Air Tanzania as the newest member of the Dreamliner family,” said Van Rex Gallard, Vice President, Latin America, Africa & Caribbean Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are honoured that Air Tanzania has chosen the 787 to operate its long-haul operations. The 787 will significantly increase passenger numbers feeding on to its domestic flights thereby boosting overall tourism to Tanzania."

On 5 December Tanzanian President John Magufuli said his government had made initial payment for the purchase of a 787 Dreamliner, which is expected to be delivered on June 18 and would boost Air Tanzania's fleet to seven planes.

Home to the famous Serengeti National Park and Africa's highest mountain Kilimanjaro, Tanzania relies heavily on revenues from tourism - its biggest foreign exchange earner, bringing in around $2 billion a year.

Magufuli said his government wants to increase direct flights between Tanzania and Asian and European markets in a bid to boost annual foreign visitor arrivals beyond current levels of around 1 million.

"Tourists have to use several connecting flights to come to Tanzania ... this is because we don't have our own (strong) airlines," he said in a statement.

"We haven't even reached 2 million tourist arrivals a year, while a country like Morocco gets more than 12 million tourists each year."

In power for just over a year, Magufuli has made the overhaul of troubled Air Tanzania Company Ltd (ATCL) one of his flagship infrastructure development projects in a bid to transform the country into a regional transportation hub.

Last week, Tanzania signed a deal with Canada's Bombardier Inc. Inc to buy two CS300 jetliners and one Q400 turboprop aircraft at a cost of $200 million.

The country received delivery of two other Bombardier Q400 planes in Sept. at a cost of $62 million.

The state-run ATCL, which has suffered from years of under-investment and mismanagement, had just one plane on its fleet when Magufuli took office in Nov. last year.

Magufuli appointed a new CEO and board for the airline in Sept. and ordered the restructuring of the company, including staff retrenchment, as part of a turn-around plan.

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