Aviation recovery pace sees increased air travellers in Tanzania

Thursday August 11 2022
JNIA pic

Section of the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam. The number of air travellers using airports owned and managed by the Tanzania Airports Authority increased by 55 percent in the 2021/22 fiscal year compared to the year before. PHOTO | FILE

By Alex Nelson Malanga

Dar es Salaam. The number of passengers who used airports that are owned and managed by Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) during the 2021/22 financial year increased by 55 percent compared to the preceding year.

During the last financial year, a number of passengers who used the aforementioned airports was quoted at 2.94 million, up compared to 1.9 million that was posted during the 2020/2021 financial year.

Mr Mussa Mbura, who is the director general of TAA that owns and manages 58 airports, attributed the upward trend to continued efforts by states across the globe to implement the World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) recommendations. The recommendations include elimination of travel restrictions which were formerly imposed as a measure to control the spread of Covid-19.

In the current financial year, according to the TAA boss, the number of passengers is expected to increase by five percent to 3.09 million compared to the preceding year.

Generally, Mr Mbura told The Citizen a few weeks ago, passenger traffic is forecasted to reach back to pre Covid-19 period in the second half of 2023 if and only if new variants of the pandemic are effectively and timely contained.

During the last financial year, a passenger who used airports owned and managed by TAA was recorded at 85.2 percent of the pre-covid era.

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Under the period of review, some 2.94 passengers flew through the airports in question, down compared to 3.45 in 2018/19 financial year (pre-covid).

The dream to reach back to pre-covid level will come true if international restrictions are ultimately eased.

On top of that, if there will be continued attraction of international flights as result of increase of tourism, trade and other investment activities in the county, the dream would be realised.

During the last financial year, cargo increased to 28,655 metric tonnes, an increase compared to the previous year’s 21,804 metric tonnes.

On the other hand, aircraft movements jumped from 76,346 to 103,961.

Meanwhile, TAA plans to generate a total of Sh82.1 billion during the current financial year, part of which will be used to finance the authority’s development projects, The Citizen can explain.

However, the authority was not in position to reveal the figures for the 2021/22 financial year on the account that they were yet to be audited as per regulations.

But speaking in an exclusive interview with The Citizen, the authority’s director general Mussa Mbura said this year’s revenue projection was a 15 percent increase compared to the 2020/21 financial year.

During the financial year 2020/2021, TAA realised a total of Sh 71.4 billion.

Mr Mbura said of the total revenue, aeronautical sources contributed about 55.4 percent and non-aeronautical 44.6 percent.

Aeronautical revenue sources are those related directly to airline and passenger while non-aeronautical revenues comprise commercial revenues from sources such as land lease, duty free, retail, parking fees, and other commercial activities.

“This year’s projection shall be attained,” he exuded his optimism.

He banked his hopes on the continued recovery of the aviation industry from Covid-19, ongoing government efforts on promoting other cross cutting sectors like tourism activities and strong TAA efforts on improving its non-aeronautical revenue sources.