The Tanzania’s private airline Precision Air is set to expand its wings to central African countries by launching direct flight from Dar es Salaam to Lusaka, Zambia, through Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Addressing journalists here yesterday Precision Air’s Group Managing Director and CEO, Alfonse Kioko said the airline will fly its first maiden flight to the two destinations on June 22, this year.
He said that the idea behind introducing the new route is to open-up central African countries with the rest of African countries, especially those of East Africa.
“The new route will help to cut time of travel and cost as the travellers are going to spend just 6.20hours to and from contrary to the previous, when they were spending more than 7 hours one way,” he said.
According to Kioko, the airline will operate three times a week with a new Boeing 737, recently acquired from Singapore.
And the new two destinations will bring the airline with a total of 17 routes in the region.
The flights will operate from Dar es Salaam connecting via Lubumbashi, then to Lusaka with the aim of capturing potential traffic on the way back to Dar es Salaam. The airline has voiced its commitment to eliminating the difficulty passengers’ face traveling between Zambia and Tanzania.
Until now, passengers have had to travel for more than nine hours through South Africa or Nairobi to get to Lusaka or Dar es Salaam due to the lack of convenient and direct flights.
Commenting on his airline’s future plans, Kioko said: “We are planning to buy five brand new planes in three years from now. And this year, we’re going to get two planes, and next year we’ll receive other two flights and in 2014 we’ll get the remaining one.”
He said the new flights will make the airline meet its target of covering the whole East, Central and Southern African destinations.
Kioko further stated that his airline is planning to turn Dar es Salaam as a major hub for major airlines for Africa and the world at large. “I’m saying this because; our plan is to cover east, central and southern part of the continent before going to West Africa and Asia. Thereafter we’ll be targeting European countries.”
Currently, the airline has a total of 12 flights, and with an additional of five will make the Tanzanian privately owned airline with 17 flights, by 2014.