PAYMENT OF ATCL DEBTS TILTS MARKET AVIATION OBSERVERS CLAIM
Air Tanzania has finally received a new AOC Air Operators Certification from the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority, after the previous permit had lapsed following the suspension and halt of all operations early this year. This opens the way for the airline to resume operations with their single turboprop aircraft on their fleet of one, a Bombardier Q300 which only last month returned from South Africa. The aircraft had been held in lieu of payment after heavy maintenance when ATCL failed to pay the bills until the Tanzanian government used money needed elsewhere for social and other services to bail out the airline once again.
This has prompted quite a debate behind the scenes, when aviation analysts and observers accused the government in Dar es Salaam of market intervention and attempting to tilt the scales in favour of a failed state enterprise as one regular source put it to this correspondent. The market principles in the East African Community are now that the private sector should shoulder its fair share of responsibilities in the economic development of the region. This also means that market mechanisms like supply and demand should be allowed to play out and the market to find its level. In Tanzania we have private airlines which survive by being prudent and financially responsible and they operate with the potential of failure if the market has a downturn. When one looks at Precision Air, and the public statements by government officials praising private enterprise and entrepreneurs, when it comes to Air Tanzania it seem to be all empty hogwash and lies because they are doing all they can to prop up a failed airline, keep bailing them out when private companies, if they were run so incompetently, would long have gone bankrupt. This is unfair competition using public funds which are better used and more needed in other sectors.
Another source, close to Precision Air, would not be drawn into this discussion though, saying the company needed to concentrate on the IPO now finally underway and entering its second week although yet others speculated intensely on the timing the government had chosen to announce that they would settle all of ATCLs debts and continue to seek investors at precisely this moment when the Precision Air IPO was ongoing. This is pure malice and ill intent as has always been the case here. They timed the announcement to spoil the IPO and unsettle the market. Remember the failed taxiway completion to the Precision hangar, the delays to give them self handling, the haggle over route rights and designations on planned routes. Air Tanzania cannot perform and yet government keeps protecting them. Do they live in the past? Do they not see that Precision is carrying our flag better than Air Tanzania ever did before? Let them stop wasting our taxpayers money in ATCL another regular aviation source from Arusha added to the discussion. Watch this space for the latest news and updates from East Africas aviation sector.
Archive for October 17th, 2011
PAYMENT OF ATCL DEBTS TILTS MARKET AVIATION OBSERVERS CLAIM
As reported here did the Greater Virunga Transboundary Committee meeting take place in Kampala last week, discussing closer cooperation and harmonized policies and responses to the conservation challenges faced by each of the participant members, UWA from Uganda, RDB Tourism and Conservation from Rwanda and the Congolese Institute for Conservation of Nature, all of which share responsibility for the management of natural resources in the Virunga Mountains and their environs. Amongst the outcomes was a plan to develop a donor funded visitor centre at Bwindi National Park prompting an immediate outcry by local stakeholders who projected an alleged web of conspiracy against a local visitor centre and cried foul over unfair competition and selfish interests.
A Ugandan official who participated in the meeting at the Protea Kampala Hotel last week however rubbished the claims, saying those who protested failed to understand both the concept of the planned centre as well as the intent and positive impact it would have on tourism to the area and they needed to calmly analyze and study what has been proposed and why.
Gorilla tourism, Ugandas most visible and globally best recognized attraction, has in the past elicited heated exchanges between different stakeholder groups in alleged attempts to redistribute wealth without however changing the fundamentals of existing contracts and agreements already in place and this latest spat only goes to confirm how cutthroat and kneejerk reactions dominate industry relations and the debates when new ideas and proposals are floated. Watch this space.
SEYCHELLES MAKES IT ON TO UNWTOS SUSTAINABLE TOURISM COMMITTEE
The extraordinary efforts by the Seychelles to promote sustainable tourism and put the environment first as shown results when during the recently concluded general assembly of member countries of the UNs World Tourism Organization the country was elected to the important sustainable tourism committee.
The archipelagos delegation was led by the Seychelles Tourism Board CEO Alain St. Ange who represented his country at the meeting in South Korea.
The Seychelles has claimed global top spot by dedicating over 50 percent of its territory to protected areas, both on land as well as in the ocean and has only recently launched a green tourism masterplan towards sustainable developments as a further sign of commitment to ensure the long term prosperity of the country which depends, besides fishing, to a large extend on the tourism industry.
Meanwhile it was also learned from Victoria that the government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Abu Dhabi to develop a new masterplan for the future development of the archipelagos capital city in conjunction with the Seychelles Planning Authority. Focus of the new masterplan will be largely on transport infrastructure without impacting on the environment, the citys historical buildings and architecture. The team put in place, comprising experts from both countries, will also focus on zoning and areas of future expansion for the city and is expected to submit a report within six months.
ISD SWITCHOVER BROUGHT FORWARD
The anticipated migration to an own International Dialing Code, away from Khartoums +249 prefix, has been brought forward from December as a result of continuous eavesdropping by the regime of ICC fugitive Bashir. A source in Juba confirmed that our own prefix +211 is now active and we no longer need to use the Khartoum gateway which has become a big security risk for us. The regime there had from all we know increased surveillance and we had to put an end to it and very quickly. There are still other areas where we need complete separation and we are working on that with all speed.
Relations between the new Republic of South Sudan and their former slave masters as the same source put it, have been strained from the day of Independence on 09th July, as Khartoum immediately pursued and aggressive policy of land grab in the disputed territories of South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei, the latter of which was illegally occupied by troops from the regime to grab the oil resources, while displacing hundreds of thousands of Africans through a terror campaign of looting, burning and orchestrated rape in an act of major ethnic cleansing rarely seen since the Yugoslavia conflict in the early 90s.
The subsequent insecurity, Khartoum is also alleged to fuel proxy conflicts inside South Sudan, has dampened expectations that adventure tourism to the magnificent national parks in the new country, especially to Boma National Park which was given global exposure by National Geographic TV in their series Great Migrations could take off in a larger way any time soon. This denies South Sudan vitally important opportunities to earn foreign exchange, attract investments and create jobs, all courtesy of the Khartoum regimes hostile and aggressive attitude. For those with connections in South Sudan, change your phone records and insert +211 as country prefix with immediate effect.