Unfortunately I don’t have any insights here, but rather I’d just like to express my continued confusion. Air Tanzania has what I’d like to think is the most interesting aircraft delivery of 2018.
This small airline previously only had turboprops, but this July they took delivery of a Boeing 787, with the registration code 5H-TCG. And that’s all they had on order — the airline ordered a single Boeing 787, making them the only airline to place such a small order.
This is a fascinating move on many levels, to go from operating a few turboprops to spending the money on a 787.
The airline announced that they’d initially operate the 787 on short domestic flights. This is normal, as airlines will often do familiarization flights for their crews, so that they can get used to the planes before starting longhaul service.
Then Air Tanzania announced that their longhaul 787 route would be to Mumbai. That’s not exactly where I was expecting the airline to fly with a single Boeing 787, but I guess it makes sense. On Air Tanzania’s website they even list the fares and what days of the week the flight will operate.
But here’s the bizarre part — the airline has now had the Boeing 787 for four months, and they still haven’t actually announced when they’ll start flights to Mumbai. I get it can take a while to launch a route, but that’s all the more reason that this makes zero sense to me.
You’d think they’d want to announce it ASAP so they can start selling seats and marketing the flight, but that hasn’t happened. Ideally they’d want at least six months notice to properly market the flight, but at a minimum they’ll want a few months.
It goes without saying that using a 787 for a short hour-long domestic flight isn’t a great use of the plane, so I do have to wonder what exactly the plan is here. Something doesn’t seem right, and I feel like maybe they’re having second thoughts, or something.
I’ve Tweeted the airline and have tried to reach out to their PR people, to no response. So I have no clue what’s going on.
But I continue to find this incredibly interesting, that four months into having the plane join their fleet, they haven’t announced a launch date for longhaul flights. Instead the 787 is just operating the occasional domestic flight (it’s not even flying daily), which sure seems like a money-losing way to use the plane.
Has anyone heard anything regarding their progress, or want to wager a guess as to what’s going on? I’m so excited to fly the Air Tanzania 787, but…