Flying with experience and expertise since 1969

Founder – Special Tribute

TANZANAIR was founded in 1969 by Dinos J Samaras and his wife Lela Samaras.  Dinos Samaras pioneered aviation throughout Tanzania and today TANZANAIR has grown to become a “complete aviation company” providing air charter, aircraft maintenance and aircraft sales.


Dinos Samaras was born in 1931 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  His formative education was in Tanzania and Kenya and continued wih Economics at the London School of Economics in London, England.  At the age of 17 he fulfilled his childhood aspiration and took up flying as a hobby.  He was amongst the first holders of flying licenses issued in Tanzania.


Upon his return to Tanzania in 1954, he joined his family’s sisal plantation business and eventually managed the plantations for both his and his wife’s family.  His  passion for flying prompted him to buy an aeroplane which he used to fly to and from Dar es Salaam when he had to purchase  supplies for the plantations. He managed the plantations, developed and doubled the production.  He was an active member of the Tanganyika Sisal Growers’ Association, eventually becoming member of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Central Line Zone.  Prior to Independence Dinos Samaras joined TANU,  was elected a member of the Legislative Council and represented the Morogoro constituency. He was later re-elected as a Member of the National Assembly and after Independence a member of Parliament.


He continued to manage the plantations until  Independence and the eventual nationalization of the plantations in 1967.


Two years later, in July 1969, Tanzanian Air Services Ltd – TANZANAIR was launched.  In 1971 the Government allocated him a piece of land adjacent to the old international terminal and he was instructed to build a hangar for the Company. In 1977 the Government encouraged the Company to build its Engineering facility. Until then all aircraft had to fly to Nairobi for maintenance.


Dinos Samaras also had the honour of being appointed to Consul General of Greece in Tanzania.  He served for a period of 15 years during which time numerous Tanzanians were granted scholarships to study in Greece and find employment in Greece’s merchant marine fleet.


Today TANZANAIR employs over 70 personnel in the Operations, Engineering and Administration departments.


founder_hornouredIn December 2009 his contribution to the aviation industry in Tanzania was recognised and he was honoured by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority. He received a medal recognizing him as the father of the aviation industry in Tanzania. See Special Tribute in Tanzania Aviation Magazine December 2010 issue.


Dinos Samaras managed TANZANAIR until he passed away in April 2010. The Company is now managed by his son, John Samaras, who was his Deputy since 1983.  The Board is chaired by the wife of Dinos Samaras, Lela Samaras, who is also the co-founder of TANZANAIR. Other Board members are Joanna Spence and Abdukadir L Mohamed.