Sunday, May 5, 2013

■ TANZANIA: Precision Air claims Zanzibar flights unaffected by taxman woes.

Precision Air Precision Air (PW), has moved to refute claims published in Tanzanian paper, The Daily News, claiming the Zanzibar Revenue Board had restricted the carrier's flights to the island of Zanzibar as well as closing the company's offices over unpaid taxes.

Precision Air ATR42
Precision Air ATR42
In the article entitled "ZRB Pins Precision Air Over Sh3.4 Billion Unpaid Taxes", it was alleged that the Zanzibar Revenue Board (ZRB) had ordered the island's airports authority to restrict the departure of all flights operated by Precision Air Services, as well as closure of its offices there over allegations that the airline had failed and neglected to settle an undisputed tax liability arising from non-payment of airport service charge and safety fee for the month of January, February and March, 2013, amounting to USD347'066 and TAS122million. It also accused the airline of failing to pay a penalty for late payment of airport and safety fees for the period of February to August 2012, amounting to USD1.6million and TAS70million.

However, in a statement issued in Dar es Salaam, Precision Air CEO Ms Sauda Rajab reassured the public of its continued operations in Zanzibar.
We wish to notify our passengers and the Tanzania Nation at large that your Airline is still in full operation of its route to Zanzibar. Neither the Zanzibar Revenue Board (ZRB) nor the airport authorities have refused our fleet from touching ground in the Spice Isles,” commented Ms. Sauda Rajab, CEO and MD of Precision Air.
She further confirms that the Zanzibar Revenue Board had raised concerns which were discussed by both parties in a meeting held on Monday 29th April 2013 which resulted in a mutual agreement. Precision Air is also said to be receiving full support and cooperation from ZRB.
“This simply has been a matter of miscommunication between parties but we are delighted that after our discussion our offices are in deed open for business and we welcome you all to continue with your travel plans. We couldn’t be in a better working relationship with ZRB as we are today.
Precision Air is Tanzania's second carrier to have had taxman issues, with fastjet, in March, having been threatened with suspension should it not agree to settle debts amounting to over USD2million (TAS3.14billion) owed to both the Tanzanian Revenue Authority (TRA) and the Tanzanian Airports Authority (TAA).