Regional airline Air Tanzania has listed Harare as one of the international destinations to be serviced by its newly acquired 54-tonne cargo plane, further pushing its growth strategy in Zimbabwe.
Lembris Laanyuni, Air Tanzania director Human Resources and administration, said Zimbabwe had proved a viable destination and offered a conducive environment for expansion.
“We are receiving a new cargo flight, which is a B767 with a capacity of uplifting 54 tonnes and Zimbabwe is one of the destinations we are thinking of that has potential for expansion,” Mr Laanyuni said.
The plane will be carrying cargo to and from Guangzhou — China; Mumbai — India; Dubai — United Arab Emirates and Johannesburg — South Africa; Harare, Zimbabwe among others.
“We have been operating in Zimbabwe for the past four years. Our company is expanding to achieve new heights in operations and currently, we are implementing a five-year strategic plan and we have some expansion plans and Zimbabwe is part of (them).
“We thank the Government of Zimbabwe for accepting and giving us a conducive environment for operating here,” he said.
Air Tanzania took delivery of its first Boeing 767-300F freighter aircraft on June 3, 2023, which was received at the airline’s hub in Dar es Salaam.
The Boeing 767-300F has been very popular among air cargo operators, and despite being succeeded by the Boeing 777-F, the aircraft is still efficiently used by many carriers around the world.
Its excellent fuel efficiency and operational flexibility will enable Air Tanzania to cater for the growing cargo capacity requirement in the region in a more sustainable manner.
The aircraft is capable of flying 3 255 nautical miles (6 028 km), carrying a maximum payload of over 54 tonnes.
According to Mr Laanyuni, “This makes the 767 freighter the perfect aircraft type for Air Tanzania, whose aim is to help grow the region’s commerce and support the export and import markets”.
He added that the airline’s cargo business grew by 14 percent last year and that this was an indicator that there was need to open and explore new markets.
Mr Laanyuni said passenger business grew 11 percent, hence increasing frequencies would increase the numbers.
“We will make more strategic interventions in terms of marketing and sales and engaging stakeholders, which gives us more opportunities to work with Harare. We are not looking at Zimbabwe in isolation, but connect it to the rest of the world,” he said.
Air Tanzania currently operates in 10 regional destinations and more than 18 local and to international destinations and Zimbabwe is one of them and the plan now is to increase frequencies in international destinations and open new international destinations.