What you need to know:
- The cargo aircraft with a carrying capacity of 54 tonnes is set to land at the Julius Nyerere International Airport tomorrow, with President Samia Suluhu Hassan expected to be the chief guest at the event to receive the freighter plane
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s air cargo market is huge, but remains untapped, the government said yesterday ahead of the arrival of the Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL)’s Boeing 767-300 Freighter.
The cargo aircraft with a carrying capacity of 54 tonnes is set to land at the Julius Nyerere International Airport tomorrow, with President Samia Suluhu Hassan expected to be the chief guest at the event to receive the freighter plane.
Briefing members of the media, Works and Transport Minister Makame Mbarawa said Tanzania’s total production of fish, meat, flowers, vegetables, and fruit products stood at an average of 24,971 tonnes per annum.
Prof Mbarawa said 24,941 tonnes of the consignment was being transported by air transport to the European and Asian markets of India, France, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Romania and Malta.
However, he expounded, only an average of 420 tonnes equivalent to 1.7 percent were being flown to the markets using the country’s airports.
He went further to explain that the rest of the consignment was being flown through the neighbouring airports, whose operators have cargo planes.
“We have not utilised the markets to the maximum since we had no cargo aircraft and thus making our transportation costs higher than neighbouring countries,” asserted Prof Mbarawa.
“The coming of cargo plane will be a sigh of relief to farmers and business people. It will cut down costs for exports and imports of various products.”
This, Prof Mbarawa said, will eventually bolster economic growth and encourage traders to increase production due to assured mode of transport, which is reliable and cheap.
He added that ATCL is set to use the cargo aircraft to fly freights to regional and international markets of Nairobi (Kenya), Dubai, Mumbai (India), Guangzhou (China), Harare (Zimbabwe) and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), among other destinations.
Also, he added, ATCL will be leasing the aircraft in question to various business people, if they show interest.
ATCL public relations officer Sarah Ruben said, “The aircraft will commence operations immediately after registration and securing permits from the regulator.”