Tanzania Transport and Precision Air Acquire New Aircraft

The leading airline in the Tanzania transport sector, Precision Air (PW) has demonstrated that it is not discouraged by the current global recession as is has recently announced plans for expansion.

In an announcement that was made last week, the airline indicated that it is expecting the arrival of a new ATR 72-500 aircraft at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam on April 30.

ATR, a southern France-based regional aircraft manufacturer, is an equal partnership between Alenia Aeronautica and EADS and is currently the world leader in the market of 50 to 74-seat turboprop aircrafts.

The new Tanzanian aircraft, the third of seven new aircrafts that have been ordered from the French manufacturer, is expected to primarily serve the Dar es Salaam-Mwanza route.

The purchase of an additional ATR 72-500 is also being anticipated in the coming months

According to a recent address to the media at the PW headquarters, the acting Managing Director, Allen Sharra indicated enthusiasm over the new purchase.

“We are very excited about this new addition to our fleet,” he said, “It demonstrates our long-term commitment to serving the needs of the air transport sector in the country.”

This new aircraft will differ from the rest in that it will feature state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment that will allow passengers to listen to music and watch movies during the flight.

In addition to this most recent purchase, plans are also currently being made to purchase an additional three new aircrafts, including one ATR 72-500, and two ATR 42-500s.

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Financing for the seven aircraft deal has attracted international attention and gained the airline two international awards, including the Jane’s Transport Finance magazine award of “2008 Aircraft Leasing Deal of the Year in Africa” award and more recently the prestigious Airfinance Journal “African Deal of the Year 2008” award.

The Airfinance award for the USD 129 million structured finance lease was given to the airline at a recent event in New York celebrating the 10th Annual Deals of the Year Awards Ceremony.

An article by EADS reported, the Managing Director and CEO of Precision Services, Alfonse Kioko, expressing gratitude for this prestigious award.

“We are honored by this recognition, which consolidates the financing of our ATR fleet as one of the most performing and successful operations in the field of aviation finance in 2008”, said Mr. Kioko, “We would like to thank all our partners, ATR, Citi and Finnfund, which have played such a key role in order to make this financing possible. Thanks to their efforts, their knowledge and their success, we are now able to further expand the regional air connectivity in Tanzania, thus contributing to develop both tourism and business.”

According to Mr. Sharra, the documentation for the finalization of the delivery of the most recent aircraft is currently being completed in by a team of crew and engineers, led by Mr. Kioko in Toulouse, France.