Air Tanzania Now Plans To Fly Their 787 To Bangkok & Guangzhou

Just last week I wrote about my confusion with Air Tanzania’s 787. The airline used to only fly turboprops, but over the summer took delivery of a single Boeing 787, which is quite a bold step for a small airline.

Since the beginning the airline has announced that they plan to use their 787 to fly to Mumbai. That isn’t the first destination that comes to mind when you think of an airline taking delivery of a single 787 (especially since the route could also be served with a 737), but I sort of get it.

The strange thing is that they haven’t actually moved forward with this service. They’ve had the 787 for months now, and just fly it occasionally on domestic flights, but mostly just proudly park the plane at a gate at their hub in Dar es Salaam.

The latest update is that the airline is awaiting approval from the Indian government and plans to launch flights as of December 2018, though I’m still skeptical, and can’t help but get slight Air Zimbabwe vibes (I’m not suggesting they’re anywhere close to being as corrupt, but rather that this may not have been the best thought out plan in history).

Anyway, it looks like there’s now another update. All Africa is reporting that Air Tanzania plans to fly their Dreamliner 3x weekly from Dar es Salaam to Guangzhou via Bangkok as of February 2019.

The airline has already announced that they intend to fly on Tuesdays, Thursday, and Saturdays, and that roundtrip fares will be $650 to Guangzhou and $700 to Bangkok (which doesn’t exactly seem like very optimistic pricing to me).

Flying to China makes a lot of sense. There’s tons of Chinese investment in Tanzania (and much of Africa, for that matter), so I can see the merit to a direct link. Furthermore, it’s noted that Chinese passengers are more likely to visit if there’s a direct flight, so this could also increase tourism.

I’m not 100% sure I get Bangkok, but I sure am happy about it, because it seems like it could be a fun fifth freedom flight to book between Guangzhou and Bangkok.

I still wouldn’t put much weight in this new route actually happening. They say the new route will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, though Air Tanzania has also published that they’ll fly to Mumbai on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, so…

Or who knows, maybe they’ll make this a Dar es Salaam to Guangzhou route via Mumbai and Bangkok. Crazier things have been done. šŸ˜‰

What do you make of Air Tanzania’s plan to fly to Guangzhou via Bangkok?

(Tip of the hat to @airlineroute)

Comments

  1. Interesting… do you know by any chance what their 787s been up to since they were delivered? Tried looking at the flight history of the tail number and haven’t found anything

  2. What’s crazy is that you’d even think of setting foot in Dar with the government sanctioned gay witch hunt currently under way. Do you even pay attention to the news? Incredible.

  3. I normally agree with Ben’s approach to travelling as a gay man, but what is happening in Tanzania is appalling and out of solidarity I am appalled he is mindlessly rattling on about their national airline without even a hint of acknowledgement of the atrocity that is looking to unfold there. It comes across as inhuman, grossly insensitive and frankly callous.

  4. One more! My plan is like this now: CAN-BKK(KQ),BKK-HKG(AI),HKG-CAN(Highspeed train), CAN-BKK(Air Tanzania) , BKK-SIN(CX)

  5. Air Tanzania already has the necessary permissions from the Indian government. I believe they are now targeting a December launch. Their primary problem seems to be that they have no distribution in India.

  6. Visit a country where gay people face life imprisonment and the government is planning forced anal examinations.

  7. @ vlcnc — I’ve been flying nonstop for the past week, and hadn’t seen the latest update. It’s always a slippery slope when it comes to ethics of traveling places (as I’ve written about in the past), but this latest story really crosses the line and makes me feel uncomfortable. So my apologies, you’re right — my interest in visiting is gone (for now).

  8. @ Lucky
    You might have missed the report that they’re getting 2 A220s soon and a 2nd 787 in November 2019.

    Kenya Airways also flies NBO-BKK-CAN. But CAN is the hub of their Skyteam partner China Southern. Can anyone really figure out what’s going on with Air Tanzania?

  9. Lucky, the Tanzanian authorities are looking at people’s social media for statement’s about sexual orientation. The simple fact that you are out is enough to land you in one of those forced anal examination rooms. So watch out.

  10. So they are probing the butts of people in a bid to see if they are gay? Probing someone’s butt for non-medical reasons seems gay in itself. But I guess there is no point in trying to figure out the logic of anti-gay nuts.

    When I was growing up, the most anti-gay people turned out to be gay themselves. I found out when I looked up some people from middle school and high school who claimed they didn’t like gays and turned out most of them came out of the closet as gay. Go figure.

  11. @lucky: Thanks for responding, I guess I was a bit disappointed at your response to this but appreciate if you were unaware. As I say I am genuinely generally with you on your approach – I won’t let who I am stop me from experiencing the world if I can help it, and at the end of the day the jokes on them when I do. On this occasion though, it is very much not ok and I am glad that you appreciate it crosses a line. Safe travels!

  12. There is a huge African community in Guangzhou too… so for most African airlines CAN would be their first city out of China.

  13. Air Tanzania should consider launching flights to Hong Kong via Singapore instead as there is a huge demand for African flights from these cities. Kenya Airways has no services to Hong Kong and Singapore. Singapore needs more African flights.

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