July 18, 2019 / 4:45 PM / a month ago

CORRECTED-Tanzania to buy new Airbus, De Havilland planes for national carrier

(Corrects July 18 item to show that Q400 is no longer supplied by Bombardier and adds context on name change, para 5-6)

DAR ES SALAAM, July 18 (Reuters) - Tanzania’s government will buy two new Airbus jets and one plane from De Havilland Canada as part of a fleet expansion plan for the national flag carrier, the president said on Thursday.

President John Magufuli has personally taken charge of the revival of Tanzania’s loss-making state carrier Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), spending hundreds of millions of dollars purchasing eight new planes since 2016.

President Magufuli “has already issued instructions for the purchase of three additional planes (two Airbus jets and one De Havilland) to expand air services and improve tourism,” the president’s office said in a statement.

The presidency did not say how much the new planes will cost.

The airline’s existing fleet includes one Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, two Airbus A220-300 jets and three DHC Dash 8-400 aircaft, formerly known as the Bombardier Q400 turboprop.

Longview Aviation Capital bought the turboprop aircraft programme from Canada’s Bombardier last year and revived its previous model name - Dash 8 - under a restored corporate brand of De Havilland Aircraft of Canada.

ATCL launched maiden flights to India’s financial capital Mumbai on Wednesday as it expands its routes with the acquisition of new planes.

Tanzania hopes the revival of the national airline will boost the tourism sector, the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner.

Its earnings from tourism jumped more than 7% last year to around $2.4 billion, helped by an increase in arrivals from foreign visitors, according to government data.

Tanzania is best known for its beaches, wildlife safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro. (Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Omar Mohammed and Jan Harvey)

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