Precision Air

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Precision Air
Precision Air Logo.png
Founded 1993
Arusha, Tanzania
AOC # 032
Hubs Julius Nyerere International Airport
Focus cities Mwanza Airport
Frequent-flyer program PAA Royal
Alliance Kenya Airways
Subsidiaries Precision Handling Limited
Fleet size 10
Destinations 10
Company slogan You Are Why We Fly
Headquarters Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Key people
Revenue Decrease TSh 141.3 billion (FY 2014)
Profit Increase TSh (11.4) billion (FY 2014)

Precision Air Services Plc (operating as Precision Air; DSE:PAL) is a Tanzanian airline based at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam,[1] with a minihub at Mwanza Airport.[2]

It is the largest airline in Tanzania based on fleet size, destinations served, and passengers carried, having had a market share of 58.8 percent in 2011.[3] The airline operates scheduled passenger services to airports in Tanzania as well as to Moroni, Nairobi, and Entebbe.[4]


Precision Air was established in 1993 and began as a private charter air transport company but expanded to serve the growing tourist market.[5] Scheduled services started in November 1999.[citation needed]

In 2006, Precision Air became the first Tanzanian airline to pass the IATA Operational Safety Audit.[6]

A loan of about US$5 million was being sought in June 2012 from the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank, to fund fleet expansion.[7]

Corporate affairs[edit]


Precision Air was privately owned until 2003, when Kenya Airways acquired a 49 percent stake, paying US$2 million, weeks after its rival South African Airways acquired a 49 percent stake in Air Tanzania for US$ 20 million. The remaining 51 percent was retained by Michael Shirima, the founder of the airline.[1][8]

In October 2011, Precision Air floated shares in the airline stock in an initial public offering on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, after which Shirima's and Kenya Airways's stakes declined and the new share subscribers owned 15.86 percent.[7] As of March 2013, the major shareholders were:[9]

A Precision Air Boeing 737 at Mwanza Airport in 2010
A Precision Air ATR 72-212A at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, in 2012
Name No. of Shares Interest
Michael Shirima 68,857,650 42.91%
Kenya Airways 66,157,350 041.23%
Precision Air Employee Stock Option Plan 1,765,300 1.10%
Other shareholders 23,689,500 14.76%
Total 160,469,800 100.00%

Business trends[edit]

The trends for the Precision Air group over recent years are shown below. Because it was a private company until 2011, published figures were not generally available before the initial public offering prospectus[10] of 12 September 2011. The figures for the group (Precision Air Services Plc and its subsidiaries Precision Handling Limited and Precise Systems Limited) (as at year ending 31 March) are:

A Precision Air ATR 42-300 at Kilimanjaro International Airport in 2006
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Turnover (TZS m) 54,341 57,988 84,344 92,493 113,606 163,061 181,358 141,262
Profits (PBT) (TZS m) 5,534 5,671 2,818 1,924 2,159 1,841 −30,812 −11,400
Number of employees 576 657 704 717 608
Number of passengers ('000) 465 538 667 825 896 688
Passenger load factor (%) 64 58 62 65
Number of aircraft (at year end) 10 10 11 12 10
Notes/sources [10] [9] [9][11] [12] [13]

Precision Air reported in August 2013 that for the year ending 31 March 2013, its maintenance costs increased to 23.6 billion Tanzanian shillings from 11.9 billion for the previous year. The increase was caused primarily by the high cost of maintaining its Boeing 737 fleet.[14]

Published reports in June 2013 indicated that Precision Air had encountered substantial financial difficulties, stemming in part from losses incurred while operating flights to and from Johannesburg, South Africa.[15] Those flights ended in September 2012.[16] The Citizen, a Tanzanian newspaper, reported in August 2013 that the airline "desperately" needed a US $32 million bailout package from the Tanzanian government or other non-shareholder sources.[17] The airline's problems increased in 2011 because it did not receive the cash that was expected when the airline was listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.[17] Increasing fuel prices, taxes, and levies plus currency fluctuations and the refusal of minority owner Kenya Airways to contribute capital had also hurt the airline.[17]


As of June 2014, the airline serves the following destinations:

Terminated route
City Country IATA ICAO Airport Refs
Arusha  Tanzania ARK HTAR Arusha Airport
Bukoba  Tanzania BKZ HTBU Bukoba Airport
Dar es Salaam  Tanzania DAR HTDA Julius Nyerere International Airport
Kilimanjaro  Tanzania JRO HTKJ Kilimanjaro International Airport
Mbeya  Tanzania none HTGW Songwe Airport [18]
Moroni  Comoros HAH FMCH Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport
Mtwara  Tanzania MYW HTMT Mtwara Airport
Mwanza  Tanzania MWZ HTMW Mwanza Airport
Nairobi  Kenya NBO HKJK Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Zanzibar  Tanzania ZNZ HTZA Abeid Amani Karume International Airport

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Precision Air has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:

Interline agreements[edit]

Precision Air has an interline agreement with Qatar Airways, allowing the latter's passengers to connect to other East African destinations such as Arusha, Mombasa, Moroni, and Zanzibar via Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam.[23]




Current fleet[edit]

The Precision Air fleet includes the following aircraft (as of July 2013):[24]

Precision Air Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
ATR 42-320 1 0 48 48
ATR 42-500 2 0 48 48
ATR 42-600 2 2 [25]
ATR 72-500 5 0

5H-PWG is configured with only 66 seats
ATR 72-600 1 Delivery in 2014 [25]
Total 10 3

Retired fleet[edit]

The company has previously operated the following equipment:

Accidents and incidents[edit]

According to Aviation Safety Network, as of April 2012 Precision Air has had three accidents or incidents.[26]

  • 26 July 1999: A Let L-410UVP-E9, tail number 5H-PAB, made a belly landing at Arusha Airport on a training flight while doing touch and go. The two crew and three passengers were not injured.[27]
  • 16 November 2004: A Let L-410UVP-E20, tail number 5H-PAC, crash landed while on a training flight at Kilimanjaro Airport. The two pilots, who had not put on their shoulder straps, sustained facial injuries.[28]
  • 8 July 2007: An ATR 72-212, tail number 5H-PAR, had a runway excursion on landing at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport runway 06. It veered off to the right, went over a ditch, and came to a stop on Taxiway F. The nose wheel collapsed. The four crew and 62 passengers were not injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged. The probable cause of this accident was power asymmetry during application of reverse thrust on landing. The control levers were jammed in one position.[29]
  • 13 December 2013: An ATR 42-600 (5H–PWI) made a safe landing at Arusha Airport after its four tyres deflated upon landing. All 37 passengers and 4 crew were safe.[30]


  1. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 10 April 2007. p. 65. 
  2. ^ "Precision Air enhances its operations from Mwanza". 1 February 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Air Operators - Market Share 2009-2011" (PDF). Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority. 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  4. ^ 2014 Destinations,
  5. ^ "Precision Air History". Precision Air. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Precision Air - Apg". Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Shareholding In Precision Air In June 2012
  8. ^ "Kenya Airways To Buy 49% of Precision Air"
  9. ^ a b c "Directors Report and Financial Statements 31 March 2013". 31 August 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Prospectus". 12 September 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "Super Brand Precision Air (PW) pleased with 2012/2013 performance", The Financial Junction, 17 April 2013
  12. ^ "Directors' Report and Financial Statements 31 March 2013". Precision Air. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "Directors' Report and Financial Statements 31 March 2014". Precision Air. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Releases/Precision Air Financial Results.pdf "Precision Air Financial Results 2012/2013". Precision Air. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Precision Air's financial troubles go into public domain", eTurboNews, reported by Wolfgang H. Thome, 10 June 2013
  16. ^ "Precision Air to Cancel Johannesburg Service from mid-Sep 2012", Airline Route, 27 August 2012
  17. ^ a b c "Precision Air's Sh51bn bailout appeal to State", The Citizen, reported by Veneranda Sumila, 14 August 2013
  18. ^ "Precision Air Announces Temporary Suspension of Mbeya Operations". Precision Air. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Partners & Alliances". Kenya Airways. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  20. ^ "Precision Air enters into code share with Mozambique Airlines". Precision Air. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "Partners and Alliances.". RwandAir. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "Precision Air, Air Uganda partner to boost efficiency". IPP Media. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  23. ^ "Qatar Airways and Precision Air announce partnership" (Pressrelease). Qatar Airways. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Tanzania's Precision Air goes all prop after last 737 is withdrawn
  25. ^ a b "Tanzania’s Precision Air Services signs contract for 5 ATR -600s". 
  26. ^ "Accident record for Precision Air". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  27. ^ Accident description for 5H-PAB at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 8 April 2012.
  28. ^ Accident description for 5H-PAC at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 8 April 2012.
  29. ^ Accident description for 5H-PAR at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 8 April 2012.
  30. ^ "Precision Air plane in touchdown fright". Daily News (Tanzania). 14 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 

External links[edit]