AIRLINE BOARD GIVEN THREE MONTHS TO MAKE SWEEPING CHANGES
(Posted 25th September 2016)
Overshadowed by the high profile arrival of the first of two Bombardier Q400NG turboprop aircraft – the second one is expected within days now – has President John Magufuli appointed a new Chairman of the Board of Directors for the national airline and also put a new CEO into place.
Engineer Emmanuel Korosso was named as new Board Chairman while Engineer Ladislaus Matindi was named as new Director General on the same day.
Tanzania’s Minister for Transport and Communications, Prof. Makame Mbarawa has since then appointed a further five board members before yesterday then officially introducing the new board to the public.
The Minister used the opportunity to give the new team just three months to clean house and overhaul the entire management of the airline, effectively giving past and some present managers a vote of no confidence. This is in line with the regularly expressed opinion here that former managers were personally responsible for the financial and operational mess the airline was in before the Magufuli government, after a thorough review of the sector, then decided to invest in the carrier, but on tough conditions of fundamental change.
In addition did the Minister demand that members of the top management but also all staff must sign performance contracts to be held accountable if they fail to turn the ailing national airline around within a matter of months.
Apart from the second Bombardier Q400NG did the Minister also intimate, as was speculated about here in earlier articles, that government was procuring two additional aircraft to be delivered in the first half of next year, which would bring the overall fleet to five and set the scene for a full scale revival.
Notably have all three major carriers in Tanzania, including Precision Air and Fastjet, all recorded losses over the past years, which begs questions to be answered if perhaps more structural reforms of the sector are needed with a review on taxation and fees charged.
Tanzania has over the past years made significant progress in rehabilitating and modernizing aviation infrastructure and while beset with challenges of cost overruns and missed deadlines have many secondary airports as a result of such investments managed to attract additional flights.