Number of air passengers increases by 16pc

Air passenger traffic increased by 16 per cent in the last financial year, minister for Transport Harrison Mwakyembe told the Parliament last week.

Around 4,034,152 passengers travelled by air in the country in the 2011/12 financial year up from 3,472,115 passengers in 2010/11.

Dr Mwakyembe said -- as he tabled his ministry’s Budget -- that domestic air passengers increased to 2,160,676 up from 1,869,553 passenges in the year before, reflecting a 16-per cent rise.


“The rise in domestic air passenger traffic is mainly due to the country’s high economic growth rate, including increase in tourism and increase in available seat capacity,” said Dr Mwakyembe.

He said that available seat capacity increased to 2,636 seats in 2011/12 compared to 2,440 seats in the 2010/11 financial year.

The number of international passengers increased from 1,602,562 passengers in 2010/11 to 1,873,476, being a 17 per cent increase.

According to Mwakyembe the figures are expected to reach 4,327,977 passengers in the 2012/13 financial year -- a seven per cent increase.

Dr Mwakyembe also revealed that aircraft movements increased in the last financial year by 11 per cent as compared to the year before – increasing to 214,460 last year from 193,250 movements in 2010/11.

Of these aircraft movements international movements increased by 16 per cent from 31,992 to 37,088 last year and domestic aircraft movements increased to 177,372 last year from 161,253.

Aviation experts say the increase of number of aircraft movements can be a result of greater air travels to mining and gas exploration sites.

“The number of aircraft movements has gone up due to increase of movements in mining and gas exploration sites like in Mtwara where previously few planes landed, but today we see many planes landing there,” said Abdukadir Luta Mohamed Tanzania Air Services Ltd director.

He said air transport was the fastest means of transport and business people preferred it to other means.

However according to Mwakyembe, last year cargo carried through aircraft decreased from 31,710.6 tons in 2010/11 to 31,683.4 tons last year.

“The ministry and its institutions will carry on its efforts to get aircraft companies for conducting handling activities at Julius Nyerere International Airport and at Mwanza International Airport,” said Dr Mwakyembe.

Up to June 2011 Tanzania had a total of 52 licenced aircraft companies. In the 2012/13 financial year six new companies are expected to be licenced.However Mr Mohamed challenged air companies to improve efficiency so as to attract more travelers opting for air transport.
Source: The Citizen,http://www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported by Veneranda Sumila

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