Tanzania secures 14th commercial plane to make national airline more competitive

DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian Vice President Philip Mpango on Tuesday received a brand new Boeing 737-Max 9 plane, bringing to 14 the number of aircraft operated by Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), the East African nation's national carrier.

The 181-passenger plane bought by the government touched down at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Tanzania's port city of Dar es Salaam in the afternoon to a water canon salute.

Speaking before he received the plane, Mpango said the government was supporting ATCL by acquiring planes to make it more competitive against the backdrop of an aggressive airline industry across the globe.

Mpango also launched two aircraft for training pilots at the state-run National Institute of Transport (NIT) last week. The two single-engine Cessna Skyhawk 172 aircraft are intended to enhance NIT's capacity for training local pilots.

Ladislaus Matindi, ATCL chief executive officer and managing director, said since the government started buying new planes for reviving ATCL in September 2016, the airline is now operating 15 local flights and 11 international flights to various countries.

"We expect to get two more planes by early next year. This will enable ATCL to be more competitive in the airline industry," said Matindi.

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