PRECISION Air Tanzania has become the first airline globally to operate the state-of-the-art ATR 42-600 commercial aircraft, the ATR Chief Executive Officer Filippo Bagnato, has said.
The aircraft worth US$16.4 million (about 26.24bn/-) is probably the world's 'greenest' in the commercial aviation industry globally and offers a wide range of on flight entertainment to passengers and safety.
Speaking during the official delivery of the aircraft during a function held at the ATR Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France at the weekend, the Precision Air Tanzania Chief Executive Officer, Mr Alfonse Kioko, said his company will invest up to U$100 million in a bid to expand the company's fleet in the next few years.
Mr Kioko said the 50-seater new aircraft will be used to expand the airline's Dar es Salaam - Kilimanjaro route adding that the aircraft's first commercial flight should take place in two weeks upon the arrival of the aircraft in Dar es Salaam this week. "The $100 million investment will see us acquire five new aircraft (four ATR 42-600, one ATR 72-600) in the next three years.
The introduction of these new series aircraft will increase our ATR fleet to 14 aircraft thus making Precision Air Services the largest ATR operator in Africa. "We are delighted to welcome the new ATR 42-600 to our young fleet in line with our continued mission to develop and provide superior air transport services that will exceed customer expectations," he said.
Mr Kioko said his company is focused towards making Tanzania the first and the only African country to own sophisticated and modern navigation model that will optimise time for approach, reduce fuel consumption and give more comfort to passengers. Earlier, the ATR CEO, Mr Bagnato, said Tanzania remains an important market for the company, adding that his company will do all it takes to ensure that the bond between the two parties continues.
"The delivery of the very first ATR 42-600 in the African region is the latest milestone in ATR's long journey together with Precision Air Services. "Today Precision Air joins a group of world class airlines that are redefining on-board comfort and achieving an unrivalled level of cost efficiency," he said.
The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) Principal Air worthiness Officer, Mr Abubakar Kiroge, said during the event that inspection of the plane has been completed adding that the plane meets all the regulatory standards and requirements to operate in Tanzania.
"The plane adheres to all the regulatory safety standards. TCAA is now ready to give Precision Air a certificate of Worthiness for the aircraft to operate in Tanzania which will be reviewed after one year," he said.