5 December 2012

Tanzania: Airlines Battle for Tanzania's Market

Photo: Capital FM/File
Fastjet: Low cost Tanzania airline.

Dar es Salaam — Budget airline, Fastjet, has announced a plan to operate a fleet of up to 15 A319s Airbus aircraft over the coming year.

The move which translated by experts of the aviation industry threatens the existence of other carriers, mainly Precision air and Air Tanzania.

Precision air, one of the fast growing airlines in the region is the current dominant of the Tanzania's aviation industry as it covers many local routes together with EA region being favored by its partner Kenya Airways, which owns 41.23%.

The dominant of Precision strengthened following the slowdown growth of the national carrier, Air Tanzania which currently operates with only single aircraft, however the arrival of Fastjet will mean that a battle for market share has resurrected.

"This means that Precision air has to pull up its socks in order to win a huge stake of the market share in the East African region's aviation industry," an aviation analyst said.

Fastjet aims to launch its second base in Nairobi.

Tanzania is the airline's first base for Africa.

Fastjet operates two daily flights on its first two routes, Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, the same as Precision's air.

Precision has been the dominant player on these domestic routes and has not had a competitor. Precision Air operates scheduled passenger air services between Dar es Salaam and fourteen other airports in Tanzania, to Kenya and Uganda within the East African region, and internationally to Comoros, Lusaka and South Africa.

Kilimanjaro International Airport is the main gateway to the northern part of Tanzania, the home of the highest mountain in Africa and also the norther tourism circuit of the country.

Whilst Mwanza is the country's second most populous city and centre for businesses being accelerated by Lake Victoria.

Mwanza is also home to growing business concerns, mining and fishing.

While Fastjet which operates under a brand license agreement with EasyGroup Holdings Limited and Sir Stelios Haji-loannou, the founder of one of the leading low cost airline, easyJet commenced flight operations last weeks, its competitor, Precision plans to invest $100m to expand its fleet modernization program.

Fastjet's Chief Executive, Mr. Ed Winter said for years, the African aviation-market has been significantly underserved, lagging a very long way behind the rest of the world.

The coming in of Fastjet is also being closely watched by big players like Kenya Airways, Air Uganda and Rwanda Air.

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