AIR TANZANIA GETS B737 ON LEASE
Sources in Dar es Salaam have confirmed that Air Tanzania is receiving a leased B737-500 to restart operations within Tanzania later today. With the crashed Bombardier Q300 out of service, the aircraft suffered from a bodged take off attempt in Kigoma some weeks ago as reported here, the jet will however only be able to fly to such destinations like Kilimanjaro, Dodoma, Mwanza or Zanzibar, as most other airports and aerodromes are only able to cater for the landing of smaller turboprop aircraft, a fact now used by competitor Precision Air which is serving domestic destinations with their ATR fleet.
The aircraft, reportedly leased from a Dubai firm, will operate in a two class configuration of 12 business class and 96 economy class seats, and destinations and schedules are expected to be announced later today and posted on the company website www.airtanzania.co.tz.
Industry observers were quick to point out that the B737-500, while more economical to operate than the previous B737-200 model the airline once flew before crashing their last one in Mwanza, will still be more expensive to fuel than smaller jets of Bombardier or Embraer make and that the introduction of a jet limits the companys destination range to a few airports only within Tanzania, leaving much of the sprawling country to the competition.
Said one source in an overnight communication: After parliament has recently unearthed this massive plot over the lease of an Airbus some years back which left our government hanging with huge liabilities, they will surely start investigating this lease deal immediately too. The reputation of ATCL has gone to the dogs and they can expect that every single deal they now do will come under the spotlight. Parliament is just waiting to get a new scandal and the new minister is in a tricky position now. Lets wait and see how they manage that aircraft and what comes next.
Whichever is the case, it is in the best aviation tradition a Happy Landings for crews and passengers.
Archive for May 10th, 2012
AIR TANZANIA GETS B737 ON LEASE
Economic challenges across the European economies, coupled with the latest election results in France and Greece, which could spell more trouble for the Eurozone, has prompted the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, to take a fresh look at marketing and promotional activities in the islands core markets. The new approach is to focus more intensely on the use of social media, joint promotional efforts with airlines and travel industry partners, more familiarization tours for travel agents and the media and celebrity marketing revealing intriguing similarities to the successful strategy of another Vanilla Island. Towards this end MTPA is reportedly seeking closer ties with airlines flying to Mauritius, but also with hotels and resorts and other key stakeholders to present a united front when working the markets.
At the same time new and emerging markets in the Middle East, Russia, India and China are being targeted with road shows and sales blitz activities, to capture a greater market share from there, aimed to make up for the softening core markets Mauritius has been depending on for too long.
Tourism Minister Michael Sik Yuen also reassured the tourism industry on the island that: The restructuring of the MTPA is ongoing and will lead to a review of the operation of its offices abroad an apparently critical if not crucial issue with private sector stakeholders who in past comments to this correspondent repeatedly pointed out that MTPA requires an overhaul and a new vision.
In a related development it was also learned overnight that a photo shoot took place last week on Mauritius for Frances LOreal, which is expected to greatly enhance Mauritius visibility not just in France but across the world. A media release from MTPA said in this connection: It should be highlighted that Mauritius is a photo studio in the open, where there is no need for bulky and expensive equipments. Natural light and the different landscapes in a small space can limit production costs, whereas the conditions in Mauritius allow for creative freedom and fulfillment, which is impossible to attain in the studio. True enough that is, as amply demonstrated in successful campaigns of a similar nature elsewhere across the Vanilla Islands. Watch this space.
The Tanzania Tourist Board has now officially launched its search for a new slogan and tag line, with contributions and participation open for everyone who wishes to put a proposal forward. The competition is running up to the 05th of June and the winner can expect to be gifted a safari to Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, courtesy of the Tanzania Tourist Board and their partners. Notably, and as a strong sign how the new media and in particular social networks have made inroads into destination marketing, will the contributions have to be entered on the TTB facebook pages via www.facebook.com/TanzaniaTouristBoard where one can also vote for eye catching phrases, though the final decision will rest with a panel of judges put in place by TTB. Alternatively go to the TTB website and get the details of the competition, terms and conditions or participation and other related information via www.tanzaniatouristboard.com/ttbslogan/
MADHVANI FOUNDATION CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSAY WITH LARGEST FUNDING EVER
As Uganda moves towards her 50th anniversary of Independence, so is the Madhvani Foundation equally looking back at 50 years of supporting gifted students, celebrating that special event with a record budget of 600 million Uganda Shillings for the year 2012/13.
The attachment of the Madhvani family, Ugandas leading family owned agricultural, manufacturing and service conglomerate which includes Marasa Africa, owners and operators of 7 safari properties in Uganda and Kenya, to the Pearl of Africa was only recently underscored when the ashes of the late patriarch of the Madhvani group were interred at their family estate of Kakira outside Jinja. Thrown out of the country by one of the worlds most notorious dictators, Idi Amin, in the early 70s when all their possessions were grabbed by Amins regime and henchmen alongside all other Asians, the family was invited back to Uganda soon after President Museveni had driven the last of the dictatorious regimes out of Kampala in January 1986 and formed a new government. The Madhvani Group has since then grown from strength to strength and even when rebuilding their family empire immediately restored the foundation to resume their charitable work.
Said the Chairman of the Madhvani Foundation Scholarship Committee, former Jinja MP and long time government minister Henry Kyemba during a press briefing a few days ago: The Madhvani Foundation is this year marking 50 years of support to Ugandan students and we would like to express our extreme joy at achieving this milestone. The Muljibhai Madhvani Foundation is a charitable trust that was set up in 1962 on the eve of Uganda’s Independence to honour the vision of the late Muljibhai Prabhudas Madhvani. It is with this milestone in mind that the board of the Foundation has set aside UShs 600 million this scholarship year to benefit Ugandan students in various universities across the country. Not only does this make it the largest amount ever donated by the foundation but also the largest by any private sector donor. We are looking for visionary individuals who would like a chance to play a role in transforming their societies. The requirements remain the same and we encourage students to visit the foundation website for more information and to download the application forms. The selection process will be transparent and all applications will be handled on an individual and unique basis.
Applications for Ugandan students, meeting the criteria for scholarships, are now invited until 31st of May and applicants are encouraged to visit www.madhvanifoundation.com where application forms can be accessed. Eligibility is restricted to Ugandan citizens and available to students who have finished their first year of study and have a Cumulative Grade Point Average CGPA of 2.2 with no retakes done in the first year. Notably, students in tourism and hospitality courses, besides many other fields, are able to apply, it has been pointed out by a source from Marasa Africa, aimed at creating a human resource pool of skilled young people who can form he backbone of Ugandas hospitality industry in the years to come.