4 February 2013

Tanzania: Precision Air to Increase Number of Mbeya Flights

PRECISION Air (PW) announced over the weekend that it will increase Dar es Salaam - Mbeya frequencies to daily from four days a week to meet passengers' high demand since introduction of the service a fortnight ago.

The daily flights, the airline said, will begin later his month, after experiencing full-board per every flights in either way since the launch of the service. The airline Head of Marketing and Branding, Ms Linda Chiza, said the firm will continue deploying the ATR equipment at the Songwe airport.

She said the airport has the capacity to handle bigger planes but was still under construction. "The route has registered great success in a short-span," Ms Chiza said adding "to serve our client better we opt to increase addition flights to daily." The PW's flight to Mbeya also ushered in competition to compel other players to match or going below country's biggest carrier air fare.

The prices per return ticket was over 500,000/- but dropped down to match PW of 249,000/-. "This is healthy for passengers and the aviation industry as a wholesince the beneficiaries are consumers of the said services," Mr Manongi said when he paid a visit to TSN.

The aviation regulator boss said the TCAA's economic department strived to open more opportunity to attract more players in the business while continuing to build conducive environment to please the existing stakeholders as well. The availability of aviation fuel at Songwe airport would reduce further the fare since airlines would have to carry less fuel to allow more passengers.

The fare is also set to go down when bigger aircraft like of Boeing 737 or A319 that capitalise on the economies of scales will start flying to Songwe. At the moment PW is compelled to reduce the number of passengers from 70 to 50 during the Dar es Salaam-Mbeya to provide space for fuel due to lack of jet fuel at Songwe airport.

Songwe International Airport has been under construction for over a decade. Precision Air, which used to operate the Mbeya route between 1997 and 2000, has made a comeback to the economic hub of the southern highlands regions.

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