Precision Air

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Precision Air
Precision Air logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Arusha, Tanzania
AOC #032
HubsJulius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam
Focus citiesMwanza Airport
Frequent-flyer programPAA Royal
AllianceKenya Airways
SubsidiariesPrecision Handling Limited
Fleet size9
Destinations14 (May 2019)
Company sloganYou Are Why We Fly
Traded asDSE:: PAL
HeadquartersDar es Salaam, Tanzania[1]
Key people
RevenueDecrease TSH:90.8 billion (FY 2016)
ProfitDecrease TSH:(91.7 billion) (FY 2016)
Employees509 (March 2016)
WebsiteAirline website

Precision Air Services Plc (operating as Precision Air; DSE:PAL) is a Tanzanian airline based at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam,[2] with a minihub at Mwanza Airport.[3] The airline operates scheduled passenger services to Nairobi, Entebbe, and airports in Tanzania.[4]


Precision Air was incorporated in Tanzania in January 1991 as a private airline and started operations in 1993.[1] At first, it operated as a private charter air transport company but in November 1993 changed to offering scheduled services to serve the growing tourist market.[1][5]

In 2006, Precision Air became the first Tanzanian airline to pass the IATA Operational Safety Audit.[6] Its most recent certificate will expire 22 September 2018.[7]

In April 2011, the airline became a public company.[1]

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.[2][8]

In October 2011, Precision Air floated shares in its 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.[9] As of 31 March 2016, the major shareholders were:[10]:7

The Precision Air's Boeing 737-300 at the Mwanza Airport in the year 2010
The Precision Air's ATR 72-212A at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, in the year 2012
Name No. of Shares Interest
Michael Shirima 68,857,650 42.91%
Kenya Airways 66,157,350 041.23%
Precision Air Employee Share Option Scheme 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[1] 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:

The Precision Air's ATR 42-300 at the Kilimanjaro International Airport in the year 2006
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Turnover (TZS m) 54,341 57,988 84,344 92,493 113,606 163,061 181,358 141,262 105,400 90,751
Profits (PBT) (TZS m) 5,534 5,671 2,818 1,924 2,159 1,841 −30,812 −11,400 -83,900 −91,676
Number of employees 576 657 704 717 608 536 509
Number of passengers ('000) 465 538 667 825 896 688 452 375
Passenger load factor (%) 64 58 62 65 59 52
Number of aircraft (at year end) 10 10 11 12 10 10 10
Notes/sources [1] [1] [1] [1] [11] [11][12] [13] [14] [15] [10]:2

Precision Air reported in August 2013 that for the year ending 31 March 2013, its maintenance costs increased to TSH:23.6 billion from 11.9 billion for the previous year. The increase was caused primarily by the high cost of maintaining its Boeing 737 fleet.[16]

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.[17] Those flights ended in September 2012.[18] 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.[19] The airline's problems increased in 2011 when it received only US$7.4 million of the US$17.5 million in cash that the airline hoped to receive when first listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.[19][20] 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.[19]


As of May 2019, the airline served the following 14 locations:

Terminated route
City Country IATA ICAO Airport Refs
Arusha Tanzania ARK HTAR Arusha Airport [21]
Bukoba Tanzania BKZ HTBU Bukoba Airport [21]
Dar es Salaam Tanzania DAR HTDA Julius Nyerere International Airport [21]
Dodoma Tanzania DDO HTDO Dodoma Airport [22]
Entebbe Uganda EBB HUEN Entebbe International Airport [21]
Johannesburg South Africa JNB FAOR O. R. Tambo International Airport [23]
Kahama Tanzania KBH none Kahama Airstrip [24]
Kigoma Tanzania TKQ HTKA Kigoma Airport [21]
Kilimanjaro Tanzania JRO HTKJ Kilimanjaro International Airport [21]
Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of the Congo FBM FZQA Lubumbashi International Airport [25]
Lusaka Zambia LUN FLLS Kenneth Kaunda International Airport [25]
Mbeya Tanzania MBI HTGW Songwe Airport [26]
Mombasa Kenya MBA HKMO Moi International Airport [citation needed]
Moroni Comoros HAH FMCH Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport [21]
Mtwara Tanzania MYW HTMT Mtwara Airport [21]
Musoma Tanzania MUZ HTMU Musoma Airport [21]
Mwanza Tanzania MWZ HTMW Mwanza Airport [21]
Nairobi Kenya NBO HKJK Jomo Kenyatta International Airport [21]
Seronera Tanzania SEU HTSN Seronera Airstrip [27]
Tabora Tanzania TBO HTTB Tabora Airport [21]
Zanzibar Tanzania ZNZ HTZA Abeid Amani Karume International Airport [21]

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Precision Air has codeshare agreements with the following four airlines:

  1. Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi-Dar es Salaam)[28]
  2. Kenya Airways (various routes)[29]
  3. LAM Mozambique Airlines (MaputoNampulaPemba–Dar es Salaam)[30]
  4. RwandAir (KigaliKilimanjaro)[31]

Interline agreements[edit]

In 2011, Precision Air entered into an interline agreement with Qatar Airways, allowing the latter's passengers to connect to other east African destinations such as Arusha and Zanzibar via Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro International Airport.[32] This agreement includes e-ticketing.[33][failed verification]

As of 23 December 2014, Precision Air also had 21 interline agreements for baggage and paper ticketing purposes with the following airlines:

  1. Air Seychelles (also e-ticketing),
  2. Alitalia,
  3. British Airways (also e-ticketing),
  4. Egyptair,
  5. Emirates
  6. Ethiopian Airlines (also e-ticketing),
  7. Etihad Airways,
  8. Gulf Air,
  9. Hahn Air (also e-ticketing),
  10. Heli Air Monaco,
  11. Kenya Airways (also e-ticketing),
  12. KLM (also e-ticketing)
  13. LAM Mozambique Airlines (also e-ticketing)
  14. Oman Air
  15. RwandAir
  16. Saudia
  17. SN Brussels Airlines
  18. South African Airways (also e-ticketing)
  19. Swiss International Air Lines
  20. TAAG Angola Airlines (also e-ticketing)
  21. Virgin Atlantic Airlines (also e-ticketing).[33][failed verification]


An ATR-42-600.
An ATR-72-500.

Current fleet[edit]

As of September 2016, the Precision Air fleet included the following aircraft:[25][34]

Precision Air fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
ATR 42-500 2 0 48 48
ATR 42-600 2 0 48 48
ATR 72-500 5 0 70 70
Total 9 0

Historical fleet[edit]

The airline has previously operated the following aircraft:

Accidents and incidents[edit]

According to the Aviation Safety Network Precision Air has had five accidents or incidents.[35]

  • 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.[36]
  • 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.[37]
  • 8 July 2007: An ATR 72-212, tail number 5H-PAR, had a runway excursion on landing at Nairobi's 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.[38]
  • On 13 December 2013, an ATR 42-600 (5H–PWI) made a safe landing at Arusha Airport after its four tires deflated upon landing. All 37 passengers and 4 crew were safe. The airline subsequently explained that higher braking forces, necessitated by the aircraft landing with a tail wind, caused the deflations.[39]
  • 10 July 2014: An ATR 72-500, tail number 5H-PWA, was halfway en route to Dar es Salaam from Mwanza during normal cruise when the number 2 engine seized. This necessitated a diversion to Kilimanjaro International Airport. The aircraft touched down normally; however, after selecting ground idle (as per the captain's explanation), the aircraft veered to the left side and exited the runway hitting one of the runway edge lights and proceeded to roll on the grass field parallel to runway 09 for approximately 180 meters before subsequently regaining the runway. No injuries were reported.[40]
  • December 9, 2018 a PW 722 with 68 passengers from Nairobi to Mwanza via Kilimanjaro was forced to land on emergency due to the swarm of birds that attacked the plane and stacked on the wheels that brought difficulties on landing.[41]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Prospectus" (PDF). 12 September 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 10 April 2007. p. 65.
  3. ^ "Precision Air enhances its operations from Mwanza". 1 February 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  4. ^ Travel Planner: Destinations, Precision Air, accessed 8 November 2014
  5. ^ "Precision Air History". Precision Air. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Precision Air - Apg". Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Precision Air Renews Its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Certificate". Aviation Tanzania. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Kenya Airways to buy 49% stake in Precision Air". Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Precision Air gets Sh510 million IFC boost". Business Daily. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "Precision Air Services PLC Annual Report and Financial Statements 2015/2016" (PDF). 18 August 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Directors Report and Financial Statements 31 March 2013" (PDF). 31 August 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Super Brand Precision Air (PW) pleased with 2012/2013 performance", The Financial Junction, 17 April 2013
  13. ^ "Directors' Report and Financial Statements 31 March 2013" (PDF). Precision Air. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Directors' Report and Financial Statements 31 March 2014" (PDF). Precision Air. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  15. ^ "Despite bad financial performance Precision Air shares remain flat". Daily News. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Aviation observers stunned by level of Precision Air losses". 24 Tanzania. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  17. ^ Thome, Wolfgang H. Thome (11 June 2013). "Precision Air's financial troubles go into public domain". eTurboNews. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  18. ^ "Airlineroute :: Routesonline". UBM (UK) Ltd. 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  19. ^ a b c "Precision Air's Sh51bn bailout appeal to State". Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Precision Air looks to other lenders after poor IPO show". The East African. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Destinations". Precision Air. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  22. ^ The Citizen Reporter (1 April 2019). "Precision Air starts Dodoma flights as government advances progress to relocate capital". The Citizen (Tanzania). Dar es Salaam. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  23. ^ "Precision Air to Cancel Johannesburg Service from mid-Sep 2012". 27 August 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  24. ^ Jimmy Lwangili (6 September 2017). "Tanzania: Precision Air Launches Flights to Kahama". Dar es Salaam: Daily News. Retrieved 7 December 2017 – via
  25. ^ a b c d Tanzania's Precision Air goes all prop after last 737 is withdrawn
  26. ^ Veneranda Sumila (29 May 2014). "Precision Air suspends Dar-Mbeya operations". Dar es Salaam: The Citizen. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  27. ^ "Precision Air To Launch Scheduled Flights to the Serengeti". Aviation Tribune. 16 June 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  28. ^ Jim Liu (27 December 2016). "Etihad / Precision Air plans codeshare service from Jan 2017". Routes Online. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  29. ^ "Partners & Alliances". Kenya Airways. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  30. ^ "Precision Air enters into code share with Mozambique Airlines". Precision Air. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  31. ^ "Partners and Alliances". RwandAir. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  32. ^ "Qatar Airways and Precision Air announce partnership" (Pressrelease). Qatar Airways. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  33. ^ a b Travel Information, Expert Flyer, accessed 23 December 2014, subscription service
  34. ^ "Precision Air - Our fleet". Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  35. ^ "Accident record for Precision Air". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  36. ^ Accident description for 5H-PAB at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 8 April 2012.
  37. ^ Accident description for 5H-PAC at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 8 April 2012.
  38. ^ Accident description for 5H-PAR at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 8 April 2012.
  39. ^ "Update: Precision ATR 42-600 Blew All Main Tires on Landing at Arusha on Dec 13 Resumed to Service", The Aviation Herald, 17 December 2013
  40. ^ Accident description for 5H-PWA at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 27 September 2014.
  41. ^

External links[edit]