JOHANNESBURG - Air Tanzania as become the first African carrier to take delivery of the Airbus A220 aircraft, the newest addition to the Airbus family of commercial aircraft, the companies said on Friday.

Representatives from the airline as well as Tanzanian government officials alongside executives from the A220 program celebrated the aircraft handover at the A220 Mirabel assembly line in Canada.

“The A220 unrivalled passenger comfort combined with its remarkable performance and economics will be an excellent asset to further develop Air Tanzania’s network,” said Tito Kasambala, acting CEO of the Tanzanian Government Flight Agency (TGFA).

The A220 will allow Air Tanzania to further develop its domestic and regional market as well as open new routes to India and the Middle East from its home base Dar es Salaam.

"With the addition of the A220 in our fleet we are confident that we will expand our footprint in the growing African markets and beyond, as we unlock additional routes and regain our position as a key player in the African air transport market,” Air Tanzania managing director Ladislaus Matindi said.

The A220 is the only aircraft purpose built for the 100-150 seat market and - with a range of up to 3,200 nm (5020 km) - offers the performance of larger single aisle aircraft.

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services and offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats.

- African News Agency (ANA)