Precision ups flights on key domestic destinations but drops Entebbe

PRECISION UPS FLIGHTS TO KILIMANJARO, ZANZIBAR AND MTWARA BUT DROPS ENTEBBE

(Posted 07th March 2014)

Precision Air has just confirmed that effective 16th of March they will increase frequencies on key routes as a result of risen demand. Flights between Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro will go up from four a day to five a day, Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar (Unguja) flights will move from two a day to three a day and flights to the country’s ‘gas capital’ Mtwara will increase from daily to ten a week.

On all these routes will the airline use their ATR turboprop aircraft which provide the right size for flexible operations deploying either the ATR 42 or the larger ATR 72 depending on booked passengers.

The airline also confirmed the withdrawal of their own flights between Tanzania and Uganda, leaving the operation to code share partner Air Uganda, which now flies daily with a CRJ200 50 seater regional jet between Entebbe and Dar es Salaam while Kilimanjaro flights are combined with Mombasa. A source close to Air Uganda has expressed satisfaction over the agreement, saying that such cooperation will increase load factors and make the route more profitable, benefitting both partners equally.

Ms. Sauda Rajab, CEO of Precision Air, in a statement availed to this correspondent, said among other things: ‘Entebbe flights will with effect of 16th March be suspended and all passengers booked with us will be transferred either to code share partner Air Uganda or be rebooked with Kenya Airways’.

From this development it appears clear that Precision is banking on the use of their more economical ATR fleet on domestic routes while competing with FastJet, offering passengers a wider option of departure times at literally equal rates – as far as ticket purchases on the day of travel or shortly prior to travel is concerned – while banking on flights to destinations like Mtwara where the ATR turboprops can land and take off whereas the Airbus A319 of FastJet cannot due to runway and other operational limitations.

Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from across Eastern Africa.

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