Airbus expands East African footprint as Tanzania receives first A220
December 21, 2018 -Air Tanzania has become the first African operator of the Airbus A220 after taking delivery of the type today.
Delivery of the first example, an A220-300 took place earlier today from the A220 assembly line in Mirabel, Canada. Air Tanzania becomes the fifth airline globally with an A220 family aircraft.
The milestone is significant for both Airbus and Canada. It makes Air Tanzaniar the launch operator of the A220 in Africa while for the European airframer, it makes Tanzania the third country in East Africa after Rwanda and Uganda, to convert to Airbus.
Uganda Airlines has committed to the Airbus A330-800 while Rwandair which already operates two baselines A330’s has also ordered two A330 -900’s.
“The A220 unrivalled passenger comfort combined with its remarkable performance and economics will be an excellent asset to further develop Air Tanzania’s network,” said Tito Kasambala, Acting CEO, of the Tanzanian Government Flight Agency (TGFA).
The A220 will allow Air Tanzania to further develop its domestic and regional market as well as open new routes to India and the Middle East from its home base Dar es Salaam.
“With the addition of the A220 in our fleet we are confident that we will expand our footprint in the growing African markets and beyond, as we unlock additional routes and regain our position as a key player in the African air transport market,” added Ladislaus Matindi, Managing Director & CEO, Air Tanzania Company Limited.
With a range of up to 3,200 nm (5020 km), the A220 brings continental Africa within range of Air Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam base, giving the carrier the flexibility to open new spokes to its hub.
“After Europe, Asia and America, we are proud to see the A220 fly now also on the African continent and in Air Tanzania’s livery. With over 240 Airbus aircraft flying in Africa and a large network of flight service offices in the region, we are ready to contribute to the airline’s success,” said Philippe Balducchi, CEO of the A220 partnership.
Besides the A220, Air Tanzania has bought the Boeing 787-800 for its long haul route network.