Following the arrival of fastjet in Tanzania, other domestic airlines have been expanding their networks.
According to eTurboNews, fastjet’s main rival, Precision Air, has refocused on domestic destinations the low-cost carrier cannot reach. Precision opened the route to Mbeya, but the airport expansion then allowed for the accommodation of fastjet’s Airbus A319. Precision, with its fleet of ATR turboprop’s, strategically withdrew, unable to compete over fares or speed. But it recently announced a new service to Tabora, its ninth domestic destination – a sign that its management has made use of new opportunities arising from some substantial upgrading work done by the Tanzania Airport Authority.
Over the past years, TAA has embarked on the modernisation and expansion of not only the country’s main airports in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Mwanza, but has paid even greater attention to secondary airports and aerodromes, which can handle larger turboprops but not jets.
Auric Air has expanded its number of destinations to 30, covering most of the country’s national parks and also business destinations, using airfields closer to towns and strips which can accommodate its workhorse aircraft, the Cessna C208 B Grand Caravan. Besides route expansion, Auric has also added frequencies to key destinations like the political capital, Dodoma, now served six times a week and made possible by the recent delivery of yet another C208 B.
Other safari airlines like Coastal Aviation, which is incidentally carrying fastjet traffic from South Africa out of Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar, Flightlink, Regional Air, and Zanair among others, have taken the opportunities arising from the growing demand for flights.