The national Tanzanian carrier has chosen handling agent Swissport as its service provider at the carrier’s Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro Airport hubs. The support includes the entire package consisting of cargo and baggage handling, security checks, gate services, passenger check-in and the moving of aircraft on the stands. 21 flights per day will be handled.
Until now, Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta has been Tanzania’s preferred cargo hub, not so much because of its geographical nearness of the Kenyan airport, but mainly because of the efficient and rapid
throughput of shipments arriving there and destined to Dodoma, Mwanza, Tabora, or Kigoma in the Tanzanian hinterlands.
In contrast, air freight flown to Dar es Salaam and destined to consignees located in the interior of the East African country, need weeks to finally arrive there. A problem known and complained about for years.
Only snails are slower
This is evidenced by warehouse data captured and filed at Dar’s Julius Nyerere International. The documents show storing times of standard imports lasting between 10 days to 2 weeks on average, before the local customs officials finally release the goods. The fact that the entire process can also be greatly accelerated is another issue that is not officially documented and does not matter here.
Thanks to the new cooperation agreed between both companies, it can be assumed that the handling of cargo shipments at Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro Airport will be executed according to normal terms, reaching standard throughput times starting from now.
Right man at the right place
The man who represents the expected change for the better is Jeroen de Clercq, Swissport’s Head of Sub-Sahara Africa and Israel. Not only has he lived in Africa for a long time, in his case in Kenya, but he knows the mentality of the different people, the local market conditions, the distinctive work ethics as well as most of the confusing bureaucratic barriers permanently plaguing the African aviation industry and how to best overcome these hurdles.
Now, his and his staff’s job will be to efficiently service the fleet of Air Tanzania at both Dar and Kili Airports. From these hubs, the carrier connects to 10 domestic and six international destinations, operating a fleet of seven aircraft: 2 Boeing 787s, 2 Airbus A220s and 3 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s.
Expanding in Africa
In a statement following the signing of the agreement, Mr de Clercq welcomed that Air TZ has decided to rely on Swissport’s services and his company’s proverbial operational efficiency. “With their fast-growing fleet of modern aircraft, Air Tanzania is the undisputed leader in the Tanzanian aviation market, and we are excited to support them,” he noted.
Thanks to the agreement, Swissport further expands its presence on the African continent. The Swiss company meanwhile provides cargo services at nine African airports, among them Accra, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Nairobi.
And that does not seem to be the end of the line.
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