Air Tanzania (TC, Dar es Salaam) will have to repay TZS896 billion shillings (USD388.8 million) illegally received from government coffers without prior approval from the country’s Ministry of Finance and Planning, according to the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC).

Committee Vice-Chairman Japhet Hasunga told The Citizen newspaper the unauthorised disbursement has emerged from the Controller and Auditor-General’s (CAG) 2019/20 report, which had uncovered that there had been no proper record keeping of the national debt, with some debt either not recorded, while other records were inaccurate.

Hasunga said the airline will be required to repay the money. "All institutions that borrowed money without the ministry's approval are required to repay the debts because we have identified they were not approved by the Finance and Planning Ministry," he said.

The Auditor-General reported that Air Tanzania had incurred TZS150 billion (USD65 million) in losses in the past five years.

As reported, Transport Minister Leonard Chamuriho, during his budget forecasts for the 2021/22 fiscal year on May 17, 2021, announced a TZS450 billion (USD194 million) state bailout that would allow the struggling flag carrier to continue operations and pay for the expansion of its fleet as set out in the airline’s five-year strategic plan ending 2021/22. This was in addition to the disbursement of TZS56.61 billion (USD24.4 million) from the company’s internal resources.

He said the money would be used to pay for two new 160-180 seater aircraft (type unspecified although likely A320-200N or B737-8); one B787-8; one B767-300F freighter; and to complete the purchase of one new DHC-8-Q400, and two more A220-300s.

The EastAfrican newspaper, quoting unnamed aviation sources, reported Air Tanzania would take delivery of five new aircraft, including the freighter, by the end of 2023, after Dodoma made a down payment of TZS596.3 billion (USD258.7 million) for the aircraft, a move that will increase the carrier’s current fleet size to 16.

The airline on October 7 and September 24 respectively welcomed two A220-300s - 5H-TCL (msn 55130) and 5H-TCM (msn 55135) - its fleet now numbering four of the type.

It also owns two B787-8s and five DHC-8-Q400s, which are in service, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows. In addition, it owns one DHC-8-300, one F28-3000, and one F50.

Meanwhile, Air Tanzania has announced four new regional routes to be launched next month from Dar es Salaam to Bujumbura (Burundi) starting November 8; Ndola (Zambia) and Lubumbashi (DRC) launching on November 18; and Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya) on November 26, 2021.

The airline currently provides regional flights to Entebbe/Kampala (Uganda) Harare Int'l (Zimbabwe), and Lusaka (Zambia) and weekly cargo flights to Guangzhou, China.

It suspended its flights to Mumbai Int'l in May due to concerns over a spike in COVID-19 infections in India, but resumed the service at the end of August.

Flights to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo, South Africa have been on hold ever since one Airbus was impounded by court order in Johannesburg two years ago.

Air Tanzania spokesman Josephat Kagirwa said domestic flight frequencies would be increased to busy destinations such as the Tanzanian capital Dodoma, Kilimanjaro, and Mwanza, while flights to Mtwara in southern Tanzania would resume after being suspended to allow for airport facility improvements.