Arusha airport reopens for airlines, Precision Air lands first

PW plane
Some scheduled airlines have resumed landing at Arusha Airport, the country's busiest airport, after completion of renovations that took almost a year to allow bigger aircrafts smooth landing.

The reconstruction that included utilisation of the entire runway, will allow the airport to accommodate bigger airplanes, with carrying capacity of over 70 passengers. 

Precision Air became the first scheduled airline to resume operations at the airport on July 1, 2012.

The airline's Commercial Director, Mr Patrick Ndekana, told the 'Daily News' on Tuesday that the renovations have enabled the airline to deploy its 72-seater ATR 72 aircraft.

"We will be flying 23 times a week, which is about four flights a day between Dar and Arusha with return via Zanzibar," Mr Ndekana said, adding, "The airline is happy to return to Arusha and ease air transport between the two destinations."

The Commercial Director said the increased frequencies will give convenience to the airline's customers from Arusha after eliminating the huddle of driving from Kilimanjaro International Airport. 

The closure of Arusha airport compelled Arusha-bound passengers to embark at Kilimanjaro Airport and cruise the 50-kilometre stretch to Arusha.

Arusha, which is on the final stage of qualifying for city status, is one of the major towns in Tanzania, playing host to international organisations, conference centres and lots of tourist activities.

"The region therefore needs sufficient air services, which we believe Precision Air has the capacity to provide," Mr Ndekana said.

Meanwhile, Mr Ndekana announced that effective July 1, the airline has adjusted its departure time from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg from the previous 4:30pm to 10:00am to provide travellers with convenient onward connections in South Africa.

The airline has also decided to provide convenient connections from Johannesburg to Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar via Dar es Salaam to cater for the tourist market. This will be serviced four times a week, providing Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro with jet operations alongside normal ATR operations.

Precision Air currently offers the widest connections to all major towns, using Dar es Salaam as its hub to Mwanza, Bukoba, Musoma, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Zanzibar and Mtwara. Regionally, the carrier flies to Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya, Entebbe in Uganda, Hahaya in Comoros, Lusaka in Zambia and Lubumbashi in DRC Congo.
Source: The Daily News,http://www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by Abduel Elinaza
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