Hon. Ashih Shelar, Minister of School Education, Sports & Youth welfare Maharashtra State,

Your Excellency Baraka Luvanda, High Commissioner of the United Republic of Tanzania to India,

Eng Emmanuel Koroso, Chairman of the ATCL Board of Directors,

Eng. LadislausMatindi, ATCL Managing Director & CEO,

Members of the Business community from both Tanzania and India

Distinguished guests, Member of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen

 

It is a great honor and privilege for me to be here today to facilitate the inaugural ceremony of the direct flight of Air Tanzania, the Wings of Kilimanjaro from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Mumbai-India.

It is appropriate for me at the outset to convey to you the very warm greetings from His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania. While wishing me and my delegation a safe travel yesterday,  His Excellency  the President wished us  a colourful inaugrural  ceremony so, friends we have  all  His Excellenccy’s blessinggs and we should  be happy.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is a very momentous occasion to us, considering the long standing links that exist between our countries. Tanzania and India have excellent bilateral and inter personal relations that are not only rooted in history, but have endured the test of time.  In pre-colonial times, Indian travelers stopped along the East African coasts in search of fresh water and fresh food. Many stayed behind and resettled, leaving behind, what are now East Africans, and in the case of Tanzania, Tanzanians of Indian descent.

The relations between our two countries were further enhanced in later years by the fraternity and mutual respect between the leaders of our respective countries namely, the founding father of our nation the Late Mwl. Julius Kambarage Nyerere and the Late Jawarhalal Nehru. The friendship between our leaders trickled further down to the citizenry, and remains todate, steeped in years of common understandings of the challenges of development and sustained by years of the persistent pursuit of development for our peoples.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

You may have been made aware that our countries have had national flag carrier –Air India and Air Tanzania which were operating effectively between the two Cities – Dar es Salaam and Mumbai. It is unfortunate incidents when the two airlines closed down their operations in the 90’s. In other words, this was a big was a big blow to the growing social and economic relations between our two countries.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you will appreciate, both Mumbai and Dar es Salaam are thriving financial capitals and very similar in many ways. Mumbai and Dar es Salaam are both commercial capitals, cities with a veritable blend of culture, customs and lifestyle. They are both increasingly cosmopolitan and nerve centers of trade and industrial centres.

Whereas Dar es Salaam is the major port and commercial entreport to the countries of Eastern Africa and surrounding Southern and Central African countries offering access to multiple air route connections, and markets at all these supplementary destinations, Mumbai is a major gateway to  India, and the rest of North West Asia. It is a critical transit hub for business, tourism and leisure travelers, as well as home to one of the world’s most specialized health care destinations.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The resumption of Air Tanzania comes at an opportune time, when we both are embracing bold economic transformations and cooperation spearheaded by President Magufuli on one hand, and, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the other.

Dear friends and invited guests  

By and large, this resumption opens up more opportunities in terms of business, trades, investiments, social –cultural exchanges and many others. I wish to remind you or rather underscore the fact that Tanzania is a home of so many wonders of the world worth exporing. I therefore encourage you all to use Air Tanzania to reach all these wonders which includes the beautiful natural beaches of Zanzibar, The famous Serengeti with the greatest migration stories of wild beast, the Ngorongoro crater where wild animals and human being co-exist. Others include Katavi, Ruaha Burigi and Mikumi National Parks and wonderful span of the Selous or the magnificent of the only free-standing mountain in Africa, the Kilimanjaro Mountain.

Dear friends

As I have just mentioned, increased connectivity between Tanzania and India will indeed bring closer the many opportunities that are available in our countries which will enhance our cooperation. Such opportunities include, Agriculture, Agro business, financial markets, small scale and large scale industrial start ups, mining and extractive industries, oil and gas exploration and many more.

Distinguished guests and friends;  

At this juncture, I wish to spend a few minutes to explain to you why it has been possible for Air Tanzania to come back to life. Let me register my appreciations that it is fortunate our Country has a leadership that is committed to transformation by actions and by taking bold decisions.

The current administration under President   Magufuli has been behind these success stories and I must and should, by way of passing, touch on a few aspects of the transformations I have intimated to you. Certainly, the number one priority for him has been addressing the infrastructure challenges such as transport and energy.

Distinguished guests and friends;  

You may wish to note that despite all odds, we went ahead to construct a mega power plant at Stigler’s gorge which will yield more than 2100 megwatts, managed to start constructions of Standard Gauge Railways to connect more than 5 landlinked countries, we have bought 8 flights and before end of this year we are buying 3 more (2 airbus and 1 bomberdier) improved port Infrastructures and increased efficiency in our port operations. All these have been given the maximum attention in order to facilitate and easy trade and business activities in the country.  Indeed the dynamism and determination of the government under President Magufuli,  has touched all key infrasturectures from making reliable energy source, to improvement of transport means making not only a complete intermodal but also  create a favourable business environment for all prospective investors like you.

 

Distinguished guests and friends  

My humble appeal to the business community from India let’s work together with the government and scale up your presence in Tanzania as an opportunity for mutual prosperity.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me assure you that, while we have started by establishing three flights per week namely on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, we aspire to serve, whole week and whole year based on the increased demand from our customers.

I should not end my remarks without stating the following facts about this dreamliner: Number one, apart from the tickets being affordable and competitive, our flights are assuredly reliable and comfortable. We are also working to increase our fleet and acquire long and medium range aircraft that will enable the ATCL network to expand, fly to more destinations in India, and the beyond. We also envision, in collaboration with our Indian counterparts to make the distance between our two countries, shorter, more easily transcended and user friendly, for the mutual benefit of our peoples, and countries.

This is an aspiration of the government of the United Republic of Tanzania under the leadership of His Excellence Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli who is fully committed to attaining all these in the near future.

It is therefore heartening and indeed a great achievement for us to be here to witness the resumption of flights between Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Mumbai, India through Air Tanzania.

Distingushed Guests and Friends ,

In closing, it would be a remiss of me to end my remarks without paying tribute to the aviation authorities responsible both in Tanzania and in India for working closely and expeditiously in ensuring that this endeavor is a success.

Indeed, the results of their dedicated efforts are quite apparent today. As we mark the inaugural flight of Air Tanzania, the Wings of Kilimanjaro to Mumbai, India, we look forward to seeing all of you in Unforgettable Tanzania, aboard Air Tanzania.

 

Thank you for your kind attention;

Asante sana kwa kunisikiliza;

Dhanyavaad