Air Tanzania has celebrated the first direct delivery of a 767 Freighter from Boeing to an African aircraft carrier. 

The 767-300 Boeing Freighter arrived at the airline’s Dar es Salaam hub over the weekend and is part of Air Tanzania’s push to expand its cargo operations outside of simply using passenger aeroplanes due to growing demand. 

Air Tanzania’s managing director Eng. Ladislaus Matindi said: “The 767 will enable Air Tanzania to support a journey towards a more sustainable future and time-critical cargo schedules across Africa and beyond. 

“We are looking forward to expanding our imports and exports industry that require timely delivery. The arrival of the aeroplane will open opportunities for global businesses to transport commercial cargo goods to various parts of the world, which will boost national economic growth.” 

Capable of holding a revenue payload of over 52 tonnes over 3,255 nautical miles, the 767 Freighter is advertised by Boeing as the “ideal aeroplane for growing e-commerce and express cargo markets”. It is hugely popular with US postage company FedEx, which operates at least 100 of the aircraft and is the freighter’s biggest customer. 

Boeing’s delivery of the freighter highlights its dominance in the continent as its aircraft are responsible for around 70% of the activity in Africa through 60 airline customers operating 500 aeroplanes curated over the last 75 years. 

Notably, Ethiopian Airlines finalised a contract for three 737-800s through Nigeria Air after it bought a 49% stake in the Nigerian airline in September. 

Air Tanzania itself also already operates two 787-8 Dreamliners and has an order in for another, alongside orders for two 737 MAX jets. 

Anbessie Yitbarek, vice-president of Africa sales and marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “The 767 Freighter will enable Air Tanzania to significantly grow its existing operations with greater efficiency and flexibility across its network.  

“Air Tanzania’s cargo customers now have far more options as the airline boosts freight connectivity between Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.” 

Last year, the airline also firmed a partnership with Swissport as it extended its ground services and air cargo handling services contract until at least 2024, covering the airline’s 134 flights per week.