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Wikileaks document suggests attempted corruption in aircraft deal

(eTN) – Air Tanzania has come under added scrutiny, when WikiLeaks documents emerged allegedly drawing on communications between the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam and the State Department.

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(eTN) – Air Tanzania has come under added scrutiny, when WikiLeaks documents emerged allegedly drawing on communications between the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam and the State Department. The cables contain direct reference to negotiations between Air Tanzania and Boeing, during which it was reportedly suggested to Boeing officials to use an agent if they were to advance a possible deal. As similar cases were at the time also making waves over other deals in different sectors of the Tanzanian economy, the hint was not taken too kindly by embassy officials, when they had been briefed by Boeing personnel and reported up the line, eventually finding their way to WikiLeaks and into the public domain.

Air Tanzania was at the time looking at both a strategic investor to bail the broke airline out, but also to upgrade and renew their fleet in order to provide at least some level of competition to other privately owned airlines operating in the country. The airline eventually settled for an A320, among other smaller commuter aircraft, and questions are now also asked if that addition to the ATCL fleet came about through corrupt practises or was genuine.

The news will do no good to ATCL’s present situation, which remains moribund, and attempts to inject government funding into the airline will undoubtedly meet with strong opposition, leaving the question open – if 2011 will finally be the year ATCL will financially crash and go into liquidation.

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