Air Tanzania Corporation

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This article is about the former national airline of Tanzania. For the present flagcarrier, see Air Tanzania.
Air Tanzania Corporation
Air Tanzania Corporation (logo).png
Founded 11 March 1977
Commenced operations June 1977
Ceased operations December 2002 (restructured into ATCL)
AOC # 001
Hubs Dar es Salaam International Airport
Subsidiaries Dar es Salaam Airports Handling Company Ltd (65%)
Tanzania Airport Catering Company
Company slogan The wings of Kilimanjaro
Parent company Government of Tanzania
Headquarters ATC House, Dar es Salaam
Key people Andy Chande, (Chairman)
ATC Fokker 27 in Mombasa

Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC) (Swahili: Shirika la Ndege Tanzania) was the national airline of Tanzania. It was wholly owned by the Government of Tanzania until 2002, when it was restructured before entering into a partnership with South African Airways, which however, did not last. The government repurchased its shares in 2006 and the airline has since been a state-owned enterprise.[1]


Air Tanzania Corporation was established in 1977 after the liquidation of East African Airways (EAA), which had accumulated debts to the tune of US$ 120 million.[2] Prior to its formation, EAA had served the region since 1946 during the British rule of East Africa. After the dissolution of EAA, Kenya and Uganda also formed its own flagcarriers: Kenya Airways and Uganda Airlines respectively.

According to Sir Andy Chande, the founding Chairman of the board, Tanzania and Uganda did not receive a fair share of the former carrier's assets despite being equal partners. The airline commenced operations with a Douglas DC-9-32 leased from Kenya Airways and purchased an additional two Boeing 737, financed by a U.S. bank.[3] It also leased an aircraft from Air Madagascar. Four Fokker F27s and four DHC-6-300 Twin Otters were added in 1980. Due to less demand, two of the Fokker 27s were disused in 1981. These aircraft returned to service in 1983 but was once again removed.[4]

In May 1991, Air Tanzania began operating a Boeing 767-200ER that it leased from Ethiopian Airlines, but this aircraft proved to be too large and was returned to the lessor in February 1992.[1][5] The airline reported a profit of US$ 650,000 in 1994.[6]

During the nineties, the airline's acronym ATC was humorously referred to as Any Time Cancellation due to its unpredictable flight schedule.[7][8]

Alliance Air[edit]

Main article: Alliance Air (Uganda)
Alliance Air Boeing 747SP

In 1994, the airline joined with South African Airways (SAA) and Uganda Airlines to form Alliance Air and had a 10 percent stake in the joint venture.[9] Flights operated from Dar es Salaam to London–Heathrow via Entebbe on a Boeing 747SP initially, and then a smaller Boeing 767-200. This venture ceased operations in October 2000, after accumulating losses of about US$50 million.[10]

The losses had been funded by Transnet, the parent company of SAA, through April 2000. When Transnet refused to continue funding the deficit, Air Tanzania accused SAA of using Alliance Air "as a Trojan Horse to take over national airlines in the region".[11]


Since its creation, Air Tanzania had been wholly owned by the Tanzanian government via the Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC). In February 2002, the government began the process of privatizing ATC through the Presidential Parastatal Sector Reform Commission. Advertisements were placed in the local, regional, and international media inviting potential bidders.[12] The International Finance Corporation advised the government in this transaction.[13][14]

The government had approved a transaction structure that included:[15]

  • Creation of a new company, Air Tanzania Company Limited, which would be incorporated as a limited liability company, under the Companies Act to take over the operating assets and specified rights and liabilities of ATC.
  • A second new company Air Tanzania Holding Company would be created to take over the non-operating assets and all other liabilities of ATC.

Eight airlines submitted Expressions of Interest:[15]

Of the eight, four airlines carried out due diligence – South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Comair, and Nationwide Airlines.[14] By 19 September 2002, the bid deadline date, only SAA had submitted a bid. Kenya Airways and Nationwide Airlines had informed the government that they did not intend to submit bids.[13]


ATC Boeing 737-200 at Dubai
A leased ATC Boeing 767

During its lifetime, the airine flew to the following destinations as part of its scheduled services.[1][4]

City Country IATA ICAO Airport
Arusha / Moshi  Tanzania JRO HTKJ Kilimanjaro International Airport
Athens  Greece ATH LGAV Athens International Airport
Antananarivo  Madagascar TNR FMMI Ivato International Airport
Bujumbura  Burundi BJM HBBA Bujumbura International Airport
Bukoba  Tanzania BKZ HTBU Bukoba Airport
Cairo  Egypt CAI HECA Cairo International Airport
Dar es Salaam  Tanzania DAR HTDA Dar es Salaam International Airport [Hub]
Djibouti City  Djibouti JIB ADAM Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport
Dodoma  Tanzania DOD HTDO Dodoma Airport
Dubai  UAE DXB OMDB Dubai International Airport
Entebbe  Uganda EBB HUEN Entebbe International Airport
Frankfurt  Germany FRA EDDF Frankfurt Airport
Gaborone  Botswana GBE FBSK Sir Seretse Khama International Airport
Harare  Zimbabwe HRE FVHA Harare International Airport
Kigali  Rwanda KGL HRYR Kigali International Airport
Kigoma  Tanzania TKQ HTKA Kigoma Airport
Kilwa  Tanzania KIY HTKI Kilwa Masoko Airport
Lilongwe  Malawi LLW FWKI Lilongwe International Airport
Lindi  Tanzania LDI HTLI Lindi Airport
London  United Kingdom LGW EGKK Gatwick Airport
Lusaka  Zambia LUN FLKK Lusaka International Airport
Iringa  Tanzania IRI HTIR Iringa Airport
Mafia Island  Tanzania MFA HTMA Mafia Airport
Mahé  Seychelles SEZ FSIA Seychelles International Airport
Maputo  Mozambique MPM FQMA Maputo International Airport
Masasi  Tanzania XMI HTMI Masasi Airport
Mbeya  Tanzania MBI HTMB Mbeya Airport
Moroni  Comoros HAH FMCH Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport
Mtwara  Tanzania MYW HTMT Mtwara Airport
Mumbai  India BOM VABB Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
Muscat  Oman MCT OOMS Muscat International Airport
Musoma  Tanzania MUZ HTMU Musoma Airport
Mwanza  Tanzania MWZ HTMW Mwanza Airport
Nachingwea  Tanzania NCH HTNA Nachingwea Airport
Pemba Island  Tanzania PMA HTPE Pemba Airport
Port Louis  Mauritius MRU FIMP Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport
Rome  Italy FCO LIRF Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
Songea  Tanzania SGX HTSO Songea Airport
Tabora  Tanzania TBO HTTB Tabora Airport
Unguja Island  Tanzania ZNZ HTZA Zanzibar International Airport


  1. ^ a b c "Air Tanzania History". Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "East African Airways debts total $120 million" (PDF). Flight International: 1713. 10 December 1977. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  3. ^ TAIRO, APOLINARI (4 July 2012). "EXECUTIVE TALK WITH SIR ANDY CHANDE". eTurboNews, Inc. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Ben R. Guttery (1 January 1998). Encyclopedia of African Airlines. Ben Guttery. pp. 207–. ISBN 978-0-7864-0495-7. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Ethiopian Airlines ET-AIZ". Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Alliance Air: A promising airline alliance". African Aviation. January 1995. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  7. ^ John, Mary (30 October 2011). "Air Tanzania to resume operations in November". The EastAfrican. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Tanzania Safari – Getting there and around". 15 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Airline Privatization", Regional Workshop on Air Transport Regulatory Policy, Bangkok, 2000, page 3
  10. ^ "$50 million losses forces Alliance Air to close", Flight International, reported by Michael Wakabi, 17 October 2000, reprinted on the website of Flightglobal
  11. ^ "Transnet leaves SA Alliance in crisis", Flight International, reported by Michael Wakabi, 11 April 2000, reprinted on the website of Flightglobal
  12. ^ "Presidential Parastatal Sector Reform Commission: Preliminary Notice to Investors Privatisation of Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC)", Flight International, 19-25 February 2002, page 89
  13. ^ a b "IFC Helps to Privatize Tanzania's National Airline", International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group, 16 October 2002
  14. ^ a b SAA Wins ATC Divestiture Bid
  15. ^ a b PSRC Holds ATC Bidders Conference

External links[edit]