Air Tanzania’s Airbus A220 might be a regular to Mumbai as airline eyes London launch

Air Tanzania is an interesting carrier. They operate a small fleet, of one Boeing 787-8, two Airbus A220-300, and three Bombardier Q400 aircraft. It has on order one more 787-8 due for delivery early next year, two more A220-300 and another Q400. The sole 787-8 was delivered in July 2018 and operated short-haul flights.

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Air Tanzania’s A220-300

Air Tanzania launched thrice-weekly flights on Mumbai-Dar es Salaam route on July 17, 2019. While Air Tanzania operates a Boeing 787-8 on this route, it operated an Airbus A220-300 on July 24, 2019. Well yes the A220-300 can fly this long a route also. In January 2019, A220 was certified for 180-minutes ETOPS. So it can fly on even longer routes say, Mumbai – Antananarivo (Madagascar). This is the beauty of smaller narrowbodies like the A220 and E2 jets.

Also in May 2019, Airbus proposed an increase in MTOW for the A220 which will further boost the range by 450nm. The increased MTOW A220 option will be available from mid-2020.

airbus a220

Airbus A220

Air Tanzania’s A220-300 has 12 recliner business class seats and 120 economy class seats whereas the 787-8 has 22 lie-flat business class seats and 240 economy class seats. While there is product downgrade in business class, this may not be the case in economy class. The 787-8 economy class seats are 31 inches wide in a 3-3-3 arrangement whereas on the A220 they are 32 inches wide in a 2-3 arrangement.

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Business-class onboard Air Tanzania’s A220-300

However, unlike the 787-8, the A220-300 doesn’t feature IFE screens. It does have USB charging ports and there is a WiFi radome, so hopefully, the WiFi also works on the A220-300.

Air Tanzania may regularly deploy the A220-300 on Mumbai-Dar es Salaam route from December 2019 as it plans to launch flights to London. Air Tanzania has secured slots at London Gatwick airport for the winter 2019 season. They plan to operate 3x weekly 787-8 services from Kilimanjaro to London Gatwick. The routing may be Dar es Salaam-Kilimanjaro-London Gatwick.

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Air Tanzania’s London Gatwick slots Source: ACL

airbus a220

Air Tanzania’s Kilimajaro – London Gatwick Source: ACL

Looks like the first flight may be scheduled for December 1, 2019, as they have secured 102 slots (51 days of operations) for entire winter 2019 season at London Gatwick. Currently, there are no non-stop flights between Tanzania and the UK. British Airways used to operate flights to Dar es Salaam with a 767. They discontinued the route in 2013 after around 40 years of flying on the route.

Air Tanzania also plans to launch flights from Dar es Salaam to Guangzhou via Bangkok when they take delivery of the second 787-8.

What are your thoughts on Air Tanzania’s plan to deploy the A220 to Mumbai and London launch?


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