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Airplanes Africa Limited Debuts First Aircraft Assembled in Tanzania

The new airplanes are set to be used for pilot training along with other operations.

A Skyleader aircraft (Photo: Skyleader)

Tanzania has successfully assembled three aircraft at the Morogoro Regional Airport plant, located in the Morogoro region approximately 190km West of Dar-es-Salaam. According to The Citizen Newspaper, this facility, launched in 2021 by the Czech company Airplane Africa Limited (AAL), has produced Skyleader 600 aircraft with a passenger capacity of two to four.

“This achievement signifies a significant milestone,” declared Mussa Mbura, Director General of the Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA), during a press briefing on Monday, March 18, 2024. “The investment by AAL not only generates revenue opportunities for the government but also fosters job creation for Tanzanian citizens,” he added. Mbura also outlined plans for further expansion, noting, “Additional aircraft assembly is imminent, as evidenced by one such aircraft previously showcased at the Sabasaba industrial exhibition.”

The Morogoro plant holds a unique position as the sole AAL branch in Africa, with additional branches situated in the Czech Republic, Germany, China, and Russia. Eng Igor Stratl, the Director of the Morogoro plant, notes the benefit to Tanzania’s skilled workforce, with many technicians employed by AAL being graduates of the National Institute of Transport (NIT). He explained the company’s decision to invest in Tanzania, citing the country’s reputation for security, stability, and peace as key factors.

The Skyleader 600 is an all-metal two-seat, low-wing aircraft designed for recreational flying, pilot training, and special operations. David Grolig, AAL director, emphasized that the decision to establish an ultralight aircraft manufacturing facility in Tanzania was driven by the country’s favorable investment climate and the willingness of its people to embrace new technologies.

Airplanes Africa Limited (AAL) unveiled the first of these three aircraft assembled in Tanzania at the Tanzania International Manufacturers Expo 2023 (TIMEXPO), held at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam in October 2023. Initially, AAL is assembling only two models, namely the Skyleader 600 and 500, while the assembly of Skyleader 400 and 200 also featured in the company’s catalog is likely to occur later.

Future Use Cases

Grolig further explained that the Skyleader 600, designed to accommodate two passengers, including the pilot, is ideal for business travelers on longer journeys. “We conducted thorough research to understand the needs of business travelers who frequently undertake long-distance trips,” he said. “In response, we developed an aircraft that offers convenience for travel and facilitates attendance at various meetings outside the region before returning to the city for other activities.”

This year, the company plans to launch the Skyleader 500, an economical aircraft suited for agricultural use and other activities in rural areas. Grolig notes the affordability and low operational costs of these ultralight aircraft, making them comparable to owning a car. AAL intends to market these aircraft domestically as well as in other countries.

Victor Shalton

Author

  • Victor Shalton

    Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Victor’s love for aviation goes way back to when he was 11-years-old. Living close to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, he developed a love for planes and he even recalls aspiring to be a future airline executive for Kenya Airways. He also has a passion in the arts and loves writing and had his own aviation blog prior to joining AirlineGeeks. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at DeKUT and aspiring to make a career in a more aviation-related course.

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