Air Tanzania Launching 787 Flights To Mumbai & Johannesburg

Filed Under: Other Airlines

For quite a while I’ve been intrigued by Air Tanzania’s Boeing 787. The airline previously only flew turboprops, but last July they took delivery of a Boeing 787-8. Yes, just one of them, and that’s all they had on order at the time (in the meantime they’ve ordered a second one, and have also taken delivery of two A220-300s).

I found this to be a bizarre fleet decision, given that most of the destinations they were looking at would also easily be within a range for a 737 (or similar).

Naturally I was curious to see what they had planned for the plane. A 787 isn’t a cheap asset, so it’s expensive not to utilize it properly. The airline talked about how they planned to fly the 787 to Mumbai, but for so long, that didn’t materialize.

Logically you’d think they’d start selling tickets for the route before they even got the plane, since it can take many months to build up demand for a route like this.

But they didn’t announce anything… not in July… not in August… not in September… not in October… not in… okay, you guys get the point. Instead Air Tanzania has mainly just been parking the plane proudly at Dar es Salaam Airport, and has occasionally used it to operate domestic flights.

Anyway, the airline has finally announced some “real” routes for the 787, and flights are now on sale.

Air Tanzania launching flights to Johannesburg

As of June 28, 2019, Air Tanzania will launch 4x weekly flights between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg using their Boeing 787-8. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg departing 10:30AM arriving 12:45PM [Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun]
Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam departing 2:20PM arriving 6:35PM [Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun]

The flight is blocked at 3hr15min in each direction, and will cover a distance of 1,514 miles.

I imagine there’s potentially quite a bit of demand for this route, though obviously in terms of distance the 787 most definitely isn’t needed for a flight like this.

Air Tanzania launching flights to Mumbai

As of July 17, 2019, Air Tanzania will launch 3x weekly flights between Dar es Salaam and Mumbai using their Boeing 787-8. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

Dar es Salaam to Mumbai departing 6:00PM arriving 2:50AM (+1 day) [Wed, Fri, Sun]
Mumbai to Dar es Salaam departing 4:10AM arriving 8:00AM [Mon, Thu, Sat]

The flight is blocked at 6hr20min in each direction, and will cover a distance of 3,238 miles.

How is Air Tanzania’s pricing?

Fares from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg start at $217 one-way in economy and $564 one-way in business class.

Meanwhile to Mumbai, fares start at $221 one-way in economy and $935 one-way in business class.

It’s interesting to me that the airline hasn’t filed a single fare from Johannesburg to Mumbai, for example, so if you wanted to fly via Dar es Salaam (which is a fairly direct routing) you’d have to book two separate tickets. Maybe that’s still coming, since this flight was just put on sale.

Bottom line

While I take big issues with Tanzania’s politics at the moment, I’m still fascinated by their 787, and am curious what their service is going to be like once the airline actually launches international operations with the plane.

I still can’t wrap my head around their logic with ordering a 787, and the fact that the plane has been doing very little for nearly a year now.

  1. Lucky- Will the BOM flight replace the JNB flight? The schedule you posted don’t appear to sync up – arrive from JNB at 635pm but depart to BOM at 6pm (at least for Weds, Fri, & Sun).

  2. Seams more realistic that this happens then thst the SAS-pilots bid in the strike in Scandinavia will go thrue

  3. @ Bob — I’m as confused as you are. They do have a second 787 on the way, so maybe that’s the plan? The BOM flight is listed as being operated by a turboprop right now, which is obviously wrong. So not sure if their plan is to have two 787s at that point, or if their scheduling department is just really, really bad.

  4. @ SK — Nope, but I’m curious as well. Wonder if they have ex-pat pilots, or where they had their 787 pilots trained.

  5. Wait a minute. I though these two destinations are in reach on A220s, while BOO,CAN,LON(all of which they expressed interest into) need that 787. It seems bizarre to me that the 2 shorter ones are flown first, in 787.

  6. Also want to point out that the A220 even has lower per-seat operating costs than the 787 on shorter legs like to JNB. If I we’re AT I would just focus on expanding affordable East African flights with the A220 and expanding to long haul once they’ve gained a decent regional network.

  7. Your friends at TC have used a flip-flop photo of the Gateway with Taj Hotel in background.
    Shame on them.

  8. You might appreciate that the swahili caption on the route announcement “Hatuna utani” means “We’re not joking (/teasing)”. “Tunamaanisha” means something like “we’re serious/ meaningful”

  9. That is total envy. You want to suggest that they would have you as their flight advisor. We are doing it out our pocket and not your strings attached loans. I thought you would have congratulated us. And that we used to have turboprops translates that we can’t afford the other type. No Western country can really truly help Africa.

  10. its possible that they will start with the 787 on the JNB route and eventually switch to the A220’s once the Mumbai route has been launched.

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