Tanzania’s privately-owned airline extended wings to South Africa


DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (eTN) – Looking to attract tourists from South Africa, Tanzania’s first privately-owned airline, Precision Air, has extended its schedule flights to cover southern African regional cities through Johannesburg in South Africa.

Standing as Tanzania’s fast-growing passenger schedule airline, Precision Air launched its first flight from Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg in South Africa. The airline will be flying to South Africa four times per week from its hub in Dar es Salaam using a new Boeing 737-300 airplane.

Launching of the first flight between Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) and Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg took place recently with passengers enjoying a reduced ticket fare.

The airline’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Alfonse Kioko said the newly-introduced flights connecting Tanzania and South Africa would attract more tourists from South Africa to visit Tanzania’s leading wildlife parks and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mr. Kioko said business travelers would also find it easier to fly between Tanzania and South Africa using the airplane with a capacity to carry 111 passengers.

It is anticipated that the airline would also attract more tourists and other business travelers from Southern African region to fly to Tanzania and boost travel and business in Eastern African region as well.

Southern African region lacks reliable air links between member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), making travel from one state to another state taking one or two days due to connection of airlines through South Africa.

Johannesburg stands as the best and optional connection for tourists and other travelers from Australia and the Pacific Rim looking to visit Tanzania and other SADC member states.

In its extension program, Precision Air launched flights to Hahaya in Comoro to be available on Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays. The route has been introduced to connect Tanzania and the Indian Ocean Island of Comoro, rich with diversified cultures and warm beaches.

Precision Air entered into a joint venture with Kenya Airways in 2003 and introduced professionally-run management, which brought quick changes in its aviation business in Tanzania.

Kenya Airways acquired a minority 49 percent shareholding, leaving the majority 51 percent of shares in the control of a local Tanzanian businessman. Since then, Precision Air has literally turned its image into a professionally-run modern regional airline. However, the airline works closely with a number of companies and has codeshare agreements with over ten reputable airlines worldwide.

In 2006, the airline embarked on a fleet modernization program that saw it sign a contract with ATR of France to deliver seven brand new state-of-the-art aircraft. The last of the seven aircraft arrived in September 2010, according to the airline sources.

The current fleet consists of five 70-seater ATR 72-500, four 47-seater ATR 42, and one Boeing 737. Plans are underway to expand the fleet further by acquiring a second Boeing 737-300, more E-Jets, and ATRs.