With British Airways suspending its services on the route between London and Dar es Salaam, the Tanzanian government has approached Virgin Atlantic, to take over where BA left out. “Dar es Salaam was not performing well from a commercial perspective, so we have taken the decision to suspend the route,” the BA said in a statement, withdrawing its operations earlier this year.
The government’s proposal was for the airline to operate direct flights connecting London and Dar es Salaam, serving thousands of travelers preferring this route. Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic meet with the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on Friday (14/06/13) and expressed his interests on the proposal.
The Transport Minister, Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe said, ‘Virgin Atlantic was currently studying viability of the route before making a decision’ – upon addressing the media after Friday’s discussion. He also added that the discussion with Sir Richard Branson is still in the early stage.
The minister also said other airlines were showing interests on this route with the increase of tourists and travelers visiting Tanzania from Europe and North America. The Emirates have acknowledged the route as a profitable investment by operating the larger B777-300ER on their flights to Dar es Salaam.
Dr Mwakyembe said, ‘Let private players come but the government will facilitate ATCL to ensure the national flag carrier stands on its own feet and operate profitably,” stressing on the fact that the government would ensure Air Tanzania operates efficiently.