Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

14 December 2012

Tanzania: Precision Air Warms Up for Mbeya Route

PRECISION Air has promised to introduce flight schedule to Mbeya within 24 hours after the opening of Songwe Airport, which has been under construction for over a decade now.

To show its seriousness, the country's leading airline said will deploy a demonstrating flight during the airport inauguration ceremony, carrying some dignitaries to the event venue. Precision Air's Commercial Director Patrick Ndekana told the 'Daily News' that they will start with a single flight a day and increase the frequencies as demand rises.

"Initially, we'll start with ATR aircraft and we will ply the route four times a week before increasing the frequencies, subject to the performance and passengers volume," Mr Ndekana said. He said once the volume increases and some infrastructure logistic are put in place, they will deploy Boeing 737-300 which is suitable for such long distance.

The airline put an advert yesterday alerting potential passengers to get ready for exploration of the southern highland regions. Air flight between Dar es Salaam and Mbeya is estimated at one and half hours. Transport Minister Harrison Mwakyembe said recently that the airport would be ready for inauguration before the end of the year.

"The (Songwe) airport will be ready to receive commercial flights before the end of this month," Dr Mwakyembe said at the launch of Precision's ATR 42-600 aircraft. Songwe Airport is crucial for the opening-up of the southern highlands regions' economies, with likely chance of stimulating other areas like Iringa and Songea.

Precision Air, which is designated national carrier, apart from flying at main airports in the country, regionally serves Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya, Lubumbashi in DRC, Comoro, Zambia and Uganda.

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