SEEKING to embark on capacity building for its employees at affordable costs, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) will send 28 pilots and aircraft engineers for training at institutions operated by Ethiopian Airlines in Addis Ababa.
“Training a pilot in Ethiopia will save US $500 dollars per hour compared to the amount currently paid for such teaching in the United Kingdom and Canada,” the Managing Director of ATCL, Mr Ladislaus Matindi, explained yesterday.
It is on this backdrop that the national carrier will mid this year dispatch 18 aircraft engineers and 10 pilots for training in Addis Ababa, Mr Matindi explained yesterday, after a meeting with officials from Ethiopian Airlines based in Tanzania.
“We are now waiting for approval from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCCA) before we send them, it is a requirement for the aviation regulator to certify training institutes for our experts,” he explained.
He further explained that the ATCL Director for Technical Services and Operations, Captain Richard Shaidi, will travel to Ethiopia next week to finalise the deal between the two airlines. “Ethiopia Airlines has well equipped training and maintenance facilities and we can benefit from their expertise.
The training will be for new pilots and those in service through recurrent teaching,” he remarked. Mr Matindi on the other hand said the airline will continue sending few pilots to Canada to receive training on operation of the new Bombardier aircraft set for delivery mid this year.
At the same occasion, Ethiopia Airlines Area Manager for Tanzania, Mr Dahlak Teferi, said the deal will provide a win-win situation between the two airlines. He pointed further that it is not the first time that the two companies are co-operating to improve the capacity of their workforce and operations.
The co-operation was heightened during discussions between President John Magufuli and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr Hailemariam Desalegn, during the latter’s visit to Tanzania.
Dr Magufuli said then that the Ethiopian leader agreed during their meeting to strengthen cooperation between ATCL and Ethiopia Airlines. President Magufuli added that the Ethiopian airline will establish a cargo hub in Dar es Salaam for transferring consignments.
“The Ethiopian airline has big aircrafts and several destinations worldwide and in Tanzania it has three destinations – Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro,’’ he added. The cooperation, Dr Magufuli said, will help in training and maintenance, expressing optimism that the two leaders believe it will be possible through the experts from both countries.