The financial input by the government of Tanzania into a rescue attempt for ATCL has yesterday come crashing down, pun fully intended, when the airlines single operating plane, a Bombardier Q300 crashed upon a bodged takeoff attempt in Kigoma, according to reports from a regular aviation source in Dar es Salaam.
Thankfully there were no casualties reported amongst the 39 passengers and crew of flight TC119 but the aircraft suffered severe damage to the hull, the undercarriage and had one engine and part of the wing torn off, resulting in a probably write off for the plane.
Perhaps the government now sees that they have been flogging a dead horse. That airline has union problems, management problems, outstanding debts to travel agents and all and sundry and has been doing nothing but swallow up public resources. This is the second accident in as many years. They crashlanded their remaining B737-200 in Mwanza and that was the end of that. They had no planes to fly, no income, lost their AOC and could not pay for the heavy maintenance of the Q300 in South Africa till government took our tax money and wasted it on ATCL instead of giving it to health, schools and social services. They should have taken that money and put it into a significant share at Precision Air when that company went for an IPO, to support a private company with action and not just their usual empty utterances. What does it take for our government to let go of their 70s mindset and let go of ATCL. Do people first need to be killed? Enough is enough, let that wreck of a company be wound up now and leave the air space to private sector airlines which have given the public much better services and much better deals said a very angry source from Dar es Salaam when the question was posed about ATCLs future following this latest incident. No comments were received from ATCL at the time of filing this report but it is understood that the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority has started an air accident investigation with a team of technical experts being sent to Kigoma.