(eTN) As Air Tanzania is facing a stiff uphill struggle to survive, with creditors snapping on their heels, private sector airlines gobbling up their former market share, and uncertainty over a strategic investor who never came, it appears that the Tanzanian government – also short of cash to pour into the airline with nothing to show for so far – has apparently been in contact with the Zimbabwean government to seek a joint solution for their ailing national carriers.
Zimbabwe, under sanctions from a number of western countries, had an economic roller coaster ride in past years, and as the coalition government is still to make an impression on investors and the sanction league countries, the national airline based in Harare, too, has struggled.
However, industry observers doubt if the “alliance of losers” as one regular source dubbed the plan, could indeed make a difference and provide a way forward.
An aviation veteran with good insight into Air Tanzania’s struggles in fact said: “I don’t think this is really serious. We are coming up for elections here in Tanzania, and government is not likely to condemn ATCL to closure. If we did not have elections next year, they might now pull the plug because every measure has failed and Precision has stepped into the gaps ATCL left in the market. Can our national airline still survive? I consider it more and more unlikely, and the strategic investors government sought have also pulled away from the idea. ATCL has too much ‘baggage,’ staff, and union issues to consider for an investor.”