PRECISION AIR’S CEO PUTS THE RECORD STRAIGHT
(Posted 18th November 2013)
Following a great many misconceptions and misperceptions, besides outright mischievious comments made in the local Tanzanian and regional media, ATC News took the time to get in touch with Precision Air to give the airline through CEO Miss Sauda Rajab the opportunity to set the record straight and have her say as to what is true and what is sheer ‘Jet A1 fumes, aka rumours’.
Find Miss Rajab’s explanation to the various issues in the public domain below.
Firstly, I would like to put the record straight. The recent reports in the media that the Tanzania government has refused Precision Air’s bailout request are grossly inaccurate – the matter is still very much under discussion. The reports also falsely stated that we asked for a loan, which is not the case at all. We went to the government with a proposal that would see them buy a stake in the airline. The government has since come back to us requesting further details, which we are currently preparing. We have not received any communication from the government to tell us that they are not interested.
I have been asked why we went to the government rather than other investors. We did consult other people, but, by offering shares to the government, we can keep the airline in the hands of the Tanzanian people – a fundamental part of our mission statement. Some 59% of the airline is in the hands of the wananchi – and we want to keep it that way.
Whatever happens with our proposal to the government, I want to assure you that Precision Air is very much here to stay. Since I took over Precision Air some six months ago, we have implemented a five-year plan to eradicate our inefficiencies and to cut costs. This has seen us return the expensive-to-run Boeing 737s and lose some of our loss-making routes, as well as reduce the frequencies on others where appropriate. Internally we have done a lot of work around efficiencies and controls, and these are already bearing fruit. While there is always room for improvement, we are taking steps in the right direction.
I am very proud of my team. They have embraced the changes, made a lot of sacrifices and put in a huge effort, and this is showing in the results that our passengers are experiencing. Precision Air has always been the airline of choice in Tanzania, and we are making every effort to ensure this remains the case for many years to come.
I wish to assure the public that you will have every reason to once more trust and feel proud of your airline. In fact, in the last month, I am already seeing signs that we are getting back on track. Rest assured we have not been sleeping. We are doing whatever it takes to ensure the airline survives, and it will survive.
With regard to the recent problems with delays, I would like to sincerely apologise to our passengers for any inconvenience caused. A lot of these issues were due to faults with our aircraft, and I am pleased to say that these have now been rectified. In the last month or so, we have achieved a 90% on-time performance rating. Some days have seen us clock 100%, and some flights are even leaving ahead of their scheduled departure time. On occasions where there is a delayed departure, my team at the destination make every effort to recover that time lost for our passengers.
On behalf of the Board, management and staff of Precision Air, I wish to convey our sincere gratitude to our passengers, for your continued support and unstinted loyalty, without which we would not be around today. Secondly, I urge Tanzanians to continue supporting your airline. If Precision Air ceases to exist, you stand to lose a valuable contributor to the social wellbeing and economic development in Tanzania.
In its 20-plus years of existence the airline has made an extensive contribution to our country and the wananchi. Today we are known as an airline superbrand in Tanzania, and in October we were crowned the Best Domestic Scheduled Airline at the TASOTA 2013 Awards.
We realise this is a journey, and we will continue to work diligently to ensure the role we play serves you well. I encourage you all to sample the ‘new’ Precision Air, and experience the change. I look forward to welcoming you on board soon. You are why we fly.