“We will be more than happy to work with them if they come back, East Africa has a huge aviation market,” Rajab said last week while introducing her company’s acquisition of an Air Operating Certificate and Air Maintenance Operating license from Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority.
She said having a national carrier would make a better domestic aviation market because some issues being raised by private airlines will be better understood by regulators if ATCL was operating at full throttle.
“All of us have enough passengers to carry even if only 10 percent of the region’s population flies,” Rajab who is the only woman chief executive in the country who has managed to keep afloat a struggling Precision Air Services Plc to date.
She said if ATCL were strong and dominant, PrecisionAir would have a strong domestic partner with which to the company would work with to target the EAC market. “Globally, even big airlines are forming mergers or partnerships because of competition,” Rajab noted.
Commenting on President John Pombe Magufuli’s austerity measures which have reduced the number of public officials taking to the skies unnecessarily, Rajab said her airline has partly been affected by the decision.
“Government traffic constitutes about 10 to 12 percent of our total traffic as such yes it has had an impact,” she noted while stressing that her management is looking into ways to bridge the income gap hinting that with AOC and AMO licensing, a new avenue has been opened.
Rajab also hinted that PrecisionAir management will be looking into establishing aircraft maintenance as a separate business in the near future.
Backing Rajab’s observation, the company’s Technical Director, Gennaro Sicurezza said PrecisionAir has good engineers who can service their planes locally but also a team of highly motivated pilots and cabin crew members.
“We are proud to say that a local Tanzanian airline can offer competent services of global standards,” Sicurezza said noting that most Tanzanians have the skill and knowledge to fly passenger jetliners and service them.
He said as the company moves to seek AISA certificate, it will trains more of its engineers abroad to acquire skills that will enable the company service latest global passenger planes. “We will send our pilots to Europe starting this year to undergo training in services other types of aircraft,” Sicurezza noted.
PrecisionAir is a member of International Air Transport Association (IATA) which audits the airline annually to ensure that it complies with global safety standards, a key factor for all its members.
IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 260 airlines or 83 percent of total air traffic.