by Peter Orengo
There is an estimated drop in Cargo Volume handled by the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA).
A recent report has established that a larger decline in tonnage handled through airports is now down by 4.5 percent.
The airports handled 19,467 tonnes of cargo in 2018 from 20,389 tonnes in 2017, attributing the fall to improvement in other means of transportation, particularly marine transport.
Juma Fimbo (aviation expert and trainer)TAA: linked the decrease to the lack of serious investment in cargo business locally. In addition, he said: “Local cargo business has never been our priority. This is a challenge that we need to tackle. He urged airlines to deploy aircraft with large cargo-carrying capacity to raise the business.
however, in a positive note, the number of passengers, passing through airports in Tanzania Airports Authority has been increased by 2.8 percent to 3.473 million in 2018.
The growth was due to significant steps taken by the government. The Tanzania government had continuously made an effort to create an environment for the growth of the aviation industry which also includes the promotion of tourism and investment.
Mr. Fimbo said Tanzania needs to respond to market demands by tapping into the opportunities wherever they emerge.
“For instance, a large share of passengers traveling to Dubai, China and India are businessmen… We are operating in an environment where cargo generates passengers, so if airlines don’t increase cargo-carrying capacity, they will end up losing travelers,” Fimbo said.
Swissport Tanzania chief executive officer Mrisho Yassin echoed the TAA’s report, saying improvement in other means of transport ate into the portion of the cargo carried by air transport.
On an average plane ranging from 7.400km can carry a maximum payload of approx 50 tons. Another average freighter would be the Boeing 767–300 which can carry a maximum payload of 52.7 tons over 6.000km.
Tanzania is also home to one of East and Southern Africa’s ports which also handles tonnes and tonnes of traffic.