Wednesday, August 28, 2013

■ TANZANIA: Omani consortium Al-Hayat resurfaces with its $100mln investment plans for Air Tanzania.

Air TanzaniaMysterious Omani consortium, Al-Hayat Development and Investment Limited, has surfaced once again in the Tanzanian commercial hub of Dar Es Salaam and once again it is touting a USD100million investment initiative for struggling national carrier, Air Tanzania (TC). 

According to the Tanzanian press, following a recent tour of JNIA, Al-Hayat's chief executive officer, Sheikh Salim bin Al-Harthy, stated that his firm's USD100million investment would include the refurbishment of the airport as well as its fire and security measures. He also added that the Muscat Tower, a 25-storey multipurpose skyscrapper featuring airline offices, recreation facilities, hotels and a shopping mall, would be built in downtown Dar es Salaam. The rest of the funds would be used in reviving Air Tanzania's fleet and talent base.
 “We intend to acquire eight aircraft; two Embraer 175 and six Bombardier planes,” said the Al-Hayat Development and Investment Limited chief executive.
The project will reportedly begin in eight months time (April 2014) should Dodoma move ahead with the agreement. Thus far, Transport Minister Dr Mwakyembe has noted that the government will take time to go through a Memorandum of Understanding prior to signing in a move aimed at "ensuring a win-win situation" for both parties.

In January, the Omanis were due to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tanzanians regarding the deal. However, in June, Tanzania's Deputy Minister for Transport, Mr Charles Tizeba, told a Parliamentary inquest that contrary to reports, no MoU was ever signed with Al Hayat after the Omani's never returned to the follow-up meeting.

Air Tanzania has also been linked to a tie-up with Chinese carrier, JoyAir(JR), in which the Tanzanians were reportedly to acquire five Xian MA60s and three Harbin Y-12  turboprops.