Dar es Salaam — The tourism sector in expected to grow tremendously following Precision Air's move to introduce flights, three times a week among the three major destinations.
Precision Air Services which has a market share of 58.9% in the airline industry in Tanzania, introduced flights between Tanzania, DR Congo (DRC) and Zambia which will be operated by the newly acquired from Singapore, Boeing 737-300.
The Zambian Minister for Transport, Works, Supply and Communications, Mr Yamfwa Mukanga, told East African Business Week from Zambia last week that the planes' new route between Lusaka and Dar es Salaam is an eye opener that would trigger trade and tourism between the two nations.
"The round-robin flight launched two weeks ago will facilitate lucrative trade and tourism, as well as increase interaction and understanding between our peoples," Mukanga said.
Mukanga added, undeniably it will act as an extra pillar to strengthen the current relations that we have and lift it to a better position of cooperation between our partnering states.
The airline will fly the new route using its newly-acquired Boeing 737-300 and according to the airline's group's managing director and chief executive officer, Mr Alfonse Kioko, the direct services from its hub, Dar es Salaam to Lubumbashi and Lusaka will eliminate the bother which traders and tourists have been facing.
"Previously traders and tourists had to travel for 9-hour plus through other places to arrive in Lusaka or Dar because of lack of direct flights but now will be able to enjoy direct and convenient flights for two hours," Kioko said.
He added that the airline will operate from Dar es Salaam connecting via Congo's business complex Lubumbashi then Lusaka - Zambia, aiming to trap potential traffic on its way back to Dar es Salaam.
The airline's new introduction also aimed at curbing the air transport woes that the Zambian market was facing. "With the absence of other airlines in the market, we are proud to offer direct services to Dar es Salaam," Kioko said.
The airline's Chairman of Board of Directors, Mr Michael Shirima said during the official launch, that the airline's achievement is a testament towards the company's commitment to its route expansion plan.
"As an airline growing at fast but carefully and diligently, we are certainly proud of including Central and Southern Africa into our growth path," Shirima said.
He added that the Lusaka and Lubumbashi flights that precision launched came after critical research and findings as to business viability. "We realized that there was a gap to be filled in air transport, as well as an opportunity to integrate our different but common cultures," he said.
The airline's recently embarked $90 million fleet modernization program which results in the delivery of 5-brand new ATR 600's to be delivered by ATR-France between this year and 2014. A Zambian businessman, who plys between Tanzania and Zambia, Mr George Makulu said, there is a lot of excitement in the market and confidence over the Precision Air service.