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COMPETITION SET TO INCREASE IN THE TANZANIAN SKIES
28th September 2016
The arrival yesterday of the second Bombardier Q400NG in Dar es Salaam
went almost unnoticed, completing the first order for new aircraft
Tanzania has placed in decades. A few months ago, after an expeditious
review of the national airline’s operations and needs to facilitate a
revival, had the Tanzanian government ordered two of the most advanced
turboprop aircraft on the market, the Bombardier Q400NextGen.
The two 76 seater aircraft with a single cabin all economy layout will
be deployed primarily for domestic services across the sprawling East
African nation to allow Air Tanzania not only to increase frequencies on
key routes out of Dar es Salaam but also to resume services to a number
of other airports to which the airline had to halt operations due to
lack of serviceable aircraft.
It is here where Air Tanzania will have to compete with Precision Air
which operates a fleet of ATR 42 and ATR 72 turboprops and enjoyed a
near monopoly on several domestic routes. However, for destinations like
Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, Mwanza and Mbeya will local rival Fastjet,
presently undergoing a restructuring and awaiting a major fleet change,
be the one to beat, not just on the level of fares but also vis a vis on
time performance and offering multiple daily services to these domestic
The two Q400NG’s join a Bombardier sister ship of Q300 make, bringing
the fleet to three aircraft for the time being. However, government
sources have already intimated that a further two aircraft orders are
under consideration for the first half of 2017, likely to be larger
aircraft and very likely also to be of Bombardier make. The most likely
choice for those orders could be the CRJ900NG, even though Bombardier
might be keen to sell the more advanced C-Series, an aircraft with the
arguably best operating economics in its class.
Today, Wednesday, will President Magufuli officially inaugurate the two
new aircraft in a ceremony at the Julius Nyerere International Airport,
when the two planes are also expected to be given names.
Meanwhile has the Minister of Transport, when a few days ago introducing
the new Board of Directors and the new CEO to the public, given them a
stern warning that they will have six months to turn the fortunes of the
airline around. In the past were both incompetence as well as corrupt
practices by senior management leading to a series of suspensions and
sackings, leaving the airline debt ridden and its few remaining assets
under constant threat by debt collections action on behalf of creditors.
It was probably for that reason that the new aircraft have not been put
on the asset registry of the airline but will be owned by another state
corporation, leaving the new birds beyond reach of auctioneers.
Will the arrival of the two new aircraft mark a new beginning for Air
Tanzania? As always only time will tell how a new team at the helm will
perform vis a vis operational quality and financial prudence to secure
the long term survival of the previously moribund national airline.
Bombardier has with this delivery also increased its African footprint
with over 125 aircraft in service, 40 of which are Q400NG’s flying for
among others RwandAir, Ethiopian Airlines and Asky.
PRECISION AIR RETURNS TO MUSOMA
Precision Air just announced their imminent return to Musoma, after halting services two years ago due to the poor conditions of the runway and apron which led to damage to one of their ATR aircraft. Following major improvements made by the Tanzania Airport Authority has the airline, after assessing the status of the airport, agreed to resume flights with immediate effect.
The Dar es Salaam to Musoma flights will operate every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for the time being, joining 10 more Precision Air destinations across the country and beyond, those being Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Bukoba, Tabora, Kigoma, Mtwara, Nairobi and now Musoma.
Precision Air’s Commercial Director, Mr. Robert Owusu said that the move was triggered by the demand in the market. He stated that the flight has been positioned to cater for passengers who had to drive from Musoma to catch flights in Mwanza. ‘We had temporarily suspended the Musoma route due to the airport’s unfavorable conditions which had caused damage to the aircraft. Since then, there have been some improvements made to the airport infrastructure that make it safe for our aircraft to land and take-off from there. As service providers, we also understand the inconveniences that passenger from Musoma had to go through by driving for about 4 hours to catch flights in Mwanza. We believe our flights to Musoma will not only stimulate trade in Musoma but also the tourism industry’.
Precision Air operates an all ATR aircraft fleet comprising both the ATR 42 and the larger ATR 72 models which are well suited to fly in and out of secondary and tertiary airports and aerodromes.
LOW-COST CARRIER EXPANDS AVIATION IN TANZANIA
Instead of exterminating other airlines, this low-cost carrier in Tanzania has brought flying to the proverbial masses, and the upsurge in their passenger numbers, against some odds, has not pushed other airlines out of business but opened new opportunities.
The domestic aviation scene in Tanzania is clearly getting more vibrant and many pundits actually credit the arrival of Fastjet in the country two years ago, which fundamentally shook up the industry in East Africa’s largest country.
Main rival Precision Air has refocused on domestic destinations which Fastjet cannot reach, Mbeya being a case in point where Precision opened the route but the airport expansion then allowed the use of Fastjet’s Airbus A319 and Precision then strategically withdrew, unable to compete over fares or speed, given their fleet comprises exclusively of ATR turboprop aircraft.
Only yesterday it announced that Precision had added Tabora as their ninth domestic destination, a sign that their management has made use of new opportunities arising from some substantial upgrading work done by the Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA). Over the past years, TAA has progressively embarked on the modernization and expansion of not only their main airports in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, and Mwanza but has paid even greater attention to secondary airports and aerodromes, which can handle larger turboprops but not jets.
Apart from Air Tanzania, whose future again hangs in the balance, other airlines have also stepped up their game and notably Auric Air has expanded its number of destinations to thirty, covering most of the country’s national parks and also business destinations, using airfields closer to towns and strips which can accommodate the Auric workhorse aircraft, the Cessna C208 B Grand Caravan. Besides route expansion, Auric has also added frequencies to key destinations like the political capital, Dodoma, now served 6 times a week, made possible by the recent delivery of yet another state of the art C208 B.
Other safari airlines like Coastal Aviation, which is incidentally carrying Fastjet traffic from South Africa out of Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar, Flightlink, Regional Air, and Zanair among many others have equally taken the opportunities arising from the growing demand for flights, not just by tourists but also, and perhaps more importantly, by local clients.
Perhaps the aviation powers that be should take a leaf from this development in Tanzania and finally grant Fastjet (T) landing rights into Nairobi and approve the Fastjet PLC application for an air service license in Kenya to reshuffle the deck of aviation cards which seems to have been marked and needs urgent replacing to give more people access to flying at fares they can afford and trigger some self-examination among existing airlines vis-a-vis punctuality, service levels, fares charged, and destinations offered.
AIR TANZANIA RESUMES FLIGHTS BETWEEN DAR ES SALAAM AND TABORA
June 1, 2013
Tanzania’s national flag carrier, Air Tanzania, resumes Dar es Salaam-Tabora flights on Saturday [June 1], this week, after suspending the route for over a year to allow maintenance of the airport’s runway.
The Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Captain Milton Lazaro, said in a statement that the airline was set to offer reliable, affordable, safe and convenient transport to passengers plying the route.
Captain Lazaro said the airline would offer three frequencies a week using its 50-seater De-Havilland Dash8-Q300. He said the flights would be on Monday, Thursday and Saturday whereby departures on Monday and Saturday will be 11:30am, flying directly to Tabora and Wednesday at 06:30 am flying via Kigoma.
“ATCL has chosen to resume Dar-es Salaam-Tabora flights because of the company’s commitment to provide reliable and affordable services to the people of Tabora especially the business community,” Captain Lazaro said.
He said the ATCL management decided that the airline re-launches the Tabora route as a noble cause to serve the region which is in line with the airline’s ambition to enhance connectivity with other regions. “We have also realised that there has been no dedicated sustainable surface transport operator to serve the route effectively since our exit.
We believe the re-launch of the route will be a catalyst for the economic development of Tabora and the Lake Zone as a whole,” he said.
Captain Lazaro added that resumption of Tabora route was also influenced by public outcry, calls from travel agents and Parliament that wanted the national airline to fulfil its mission of conducting business while serving the public.
He further said that the airline was set to embark on its ambitious plan to open new domestic routes that include Songwe and resumption of Arusha, Zanzibar and Mwanza routes. “These new routes will be embarked on upon receiving our own new aircraft later this year. The public will be notified once the acquisition of the aircraft materialises,” he said.
As reported by the Tanzania Daily News
Air Tanzania is the national airline of Tanzania and is based at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar Es Salaam. The carrier operates domestic services, as well as regional services to destinations in south-east Africa and international service to London Heathrow. Air Tanzania is wholly owned by the Tanzanian government.
By Capa Aviation
FIRST WOMAN EXECUTIVE TO LEAD AN AIRLINE IN TANZANIA
Precision Air gets new CEO
Feb 15, 2013
TANZANIA (eTN) - Precision Air, Tanzaniaâ€™s fastest-growing airline, has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer after voluntary retirement of Mr. Alfonse Kioko, who led the airline to a successful path in ten years.
The new Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Sauda Said Rajab, is to take over the top post in the airline later next month, to become the first woman airline executive in Tanzaniaâ€™s airline industry history.
A report from Precision Airâ€™s head office in the Tanzanian capital city of Dar es Salaam said that Ms. Sauda worked with Kenya Airways, where she served in different capacities for the last 23 years, the most recent being as the General Manager in Kenya Airways Cargo Department.
With rich experience in Sales and Operations in the airline industry, she will bring in a new vision and management style to grow the airline amid competition to much greater heights, the report said.
Before his voluntary retirement, Mr. Kioko steered Precision Air to greater heights of growth and achievements.
Precision Air is currently operating with 12 aircraft consisting of a fleet of ATR equipment and Boeing 737-300 air planes, making it a leading schedule airline in Tanzania.
Its current flights cover most key towns in Tanzania, East Africa, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Lubumbashi in Congo.
Source: Apolinari Tairo, eTN Tanzania
Precision Air is Tanzania’s largest airline, based at Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam. The carrier operates mainly ATR truboprops on regional scheduled service to destinations across Tanzania and Kenya. The company was partially listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange on 21-Dec-2011. As of 31-Mar-2102, the main shareholders were founder Michael Shirima (43%) and Kenya Airways (41%). By Capa Aviation.
AIRLINES OF TANZANIA
Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC) the Tanzanian flag-carrier, was established on 11 March, 1977, to operate the services suspended following the brake up of East African Airways (EAA), which was owned jointly by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
In the initial moment, the airline leased one Douglas DC-9-32 5Y-ALR from Kenya Airways and one Boeing 707-331 YN-BWL (exN762TW) from Areo Nica. Regular and domestic flights followed by using Boeings 737-200s and Fokker F27s and adding de Havilland Twin Otters to its fleet for domestic services from Kilimanjaro.
The fleet was gradually upgraded by 2 no Boeing 737-200s, 4 no Fokker F27s and 4 no DHC 6 Twin Otter. Due to decreased traffic, two of the F27s (reg. unknown) were removed from services in 1981, but were returned two years later only to be removed again in 1984. The airline leased a single Boeing 767-200 1991/1992 from Ethiopian Airlines but this aircraft was too large and the airline had to dispose it. The carrier also leased a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, G-BNSA during 1989.
The airline has also had in its fleet two Boeing 737-33A, XA-SWO (leased from TAESA on a short term contract 1998), 5H-TAC 1999-2003 and a single Dornier 208-201 ZS-OVM leased from South African Airways.
Auric Air Services Ltd is Tanzania’s preferred corporate and safari airline with a wide network of domestic scheduled services. From its bases at Mwanza Airport and Julius Nyerere International Airport Dar-es-salaam‚ Auric Air provides scheduled flights to some of the most remote and otherwise inaccessible destinations within Tanzania. Auric Air now provides daily scheduled services to 7 destinations and handles approximately 3000 passengers every month.
Auric Air Services Limited undergoes stringent tri-annual safety and operational audits conducted by professional audit firms appointed by large blue chip mining and exploration companies. This ensures safe operational practices and makes it the preferred air charter service provider for the Corporate.
The airline operates 5 Cessna Grand Caravans C208B‚ a fleet which is amongst the youngest of Caravan fleets in this region. With the reliable turbine engine‚ this type of all weather aircraft have been chosen to meet the specific requirements of operating into bush airstrips within Tanzania’s world famous game parks‚ hunting strips and to not so well maintained airstrips within East Africa.
All of Auric Air aircrafts are equipped with the Glass cockpit and in order to enhance safety‚ optional state of the art avionics including latest in traffic terrain avoidance systems‚ Synthetic Visual Technology‚ and Satellite Based real time tracking systems have been installed.
ZanAir is a domestic airline that operations schedule flights from Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam, Arusha, Selous Game Reserve, Saadani National Park, Pemba and Mombasa. We also operate charters to various airstrips and airports in Tanzania and Kenya.
ZanAir is Zanzibar’s longest serving aviation company (Started operations in November 1992), with nearing two decades long operation. 80 percent of ZanAir staff has been in service with ZanAir, from the beginning or over 9 yrs.
Flightlink Limited known as “Flightlink Air Charters” a scheduled and corporate air Charter Company owned and operated by Capt Munawer Dhirani, a Tanzanian and an American Graduate Commercial Pilot.
Our base is Dar es Salaam and Operating & Dispatch is at Terminal 1, Julius Nyerere International Airport. We are regulated by Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority and audited yearly for certification of Air Service License (ASL) and Air Operators Certificate (AOC).
Fastjet Plc is a low-cost airline with ambitions to provide a pan-African service; established in part by Stelios Haji-Ioannou, known for founding the low-cost short haul airline easyJet, Fastjet aims to deliver the same service as its European counterpart to the African continent. The airline was initially created with the acquisition of Fly540, an airline operating in East Africa, and flights in Fastjet's own name commenced in November 2012.
Find more at: www.fastjet.com
FASTjET LAUNCHES SPECIAL FARES TO SUPPORT TANZANIA'S TOURISM INDUSTRY
BY PROF. DR. WOLFGANG H. THOME, APR 11, 2014
Tanzania’s LCC Fastjet earlier this week announced the introduction of a special fare for the South African market which will allow travel agents to package holidays to Tanzania’s national parks and beaches.
The newly launched fares are valid for 12 months and are not dependent on booking class availability as is otherwise the case, giving tour operators the ability to create, price and market cost effective Tanzanian travel packages well in advance.
The fares also include one item of checked luggage per passenger, a benefit not otherwise available to regular passengers of the airline. Access to the special fare comes through a new dedicated Fastjet agent booking portal viawww.fastjet.com/za. This portal allows tour operators to check availability, plan itineraries, make and manage bookings and complete all general administration processes relating to their clients’ flights.
‘Tanzania offers a diverse range of destinations and activities, from the imposing majesty of Kilimanjaro to the vast savannahs that are home to Africa’s most prolific wildlife – not to mention the magnificent beaches and cultural experiences offered by Zanzibar’ said Richard Bodin, Chief Commercial Officer of Fastjet when launching the new service before adding: ‘South African tour operators can now create cost effective packages that include some or all of these remarkable destinations, without being held hostage to exorbitant and highly fluctuating fares charged by the competition on the Johannesburg-Dar es Salaam route’.
Fastjet operates internationally from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg and Lusaka besides offering domestic flights within Tanzania from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, Kilimanjaro and Mbeya.
Tour operators can access the private low-cost fares on the Fastjet booking portal once they have registered with Fastjet, a mandatory requirement to be able to use these special fares, in a short registration process that involves contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Other fares with Fastjet can also be accessed through all main Global Distribution Systems (GDS) under Marketing Code H1 and Operations Code FN, via Fastjet’s public website (www.fastjet.com/za) or through its South African call centre.
Safari and tour operators in Tanzania have welcomed the news as it will very likely further strengthen their ties with South Africa, which has over the past years emerged as a leading tourist source country for Tanzania, of course aided by the waving of Visa requirements for South African citizens when entering the country. This latest move by Fastjet is bound to further impact positively on the airline’s market share on the route where it competes head on with South African Airways, which saw their extraordinarily high yields on flights between Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam shrink considerably since the launch of Fastjet flights on the route.