THE number of international airlines serving Tanzania has increased by almost 200 per cent to 49 in the last nine years, resulting in more economic activity.
The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) data shows in 2003 merely 17 international carriers plied between Dar es Salaam and the rest of the world compared to 49 of last year.
THE TCAA Director General, Mr Fadhili Manongi, attributed the trend to the country's air transport safety standard, which is above the average and high quality ground services offered. "The economic growth of over 6.0 per cent for the consecutive six years spurs the aviation sector's expansion," Mr Manongi told the 'Daily News' during a tour of TSN offices over the weekend.
The number of international passengers also increased to 593,073 last year, from 312,312 during the previous year. The total number, including domestic passengers, jumped up to 3.86 million last year, from 2.17 million in 2005. On the domestic arena, the regulator said the number of licensing air operators also doubled from 38 in 2005 to 67 last year, while 54 of those holding licences are operating.
Mr Manongi said during the period TCCA revenue increased by 75 per cent thus enabling the authority to become self-reliant by 100 per cent. However, the sector faces a number of challenges that include rapid technological changes in aviation forcing the authority to incur extra costs to purchase equipment and training staff.
"The geography of our country needs five air navigation radars instead of the current one, which has been working in the last ten years," Mr Manongi said. He said the authority was not satisfied with the airport infrastructure which hinder domestic airlines to utilise fully aircraft capacity thus increase the cost of doing business to elevate fares.