Swiss Air Lines new hopes anchored on Tanzania`s tourism
By Special Correspondent
Swiss International Air Lines (short Swiss) has recently increased its East African bound flights. As for Tanzania`s destination, its hopes are hinged on the rising tourism and other economic activities that are set to sustain its operations.
Founded in 2001 following bankruptcy of former Switzerland`s flag carrier Swissair, its new investors later changed its name to Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss), and the new national airline started its operations March, 2002.
Our Special Correspondent talked to Ines Braendle, Swiss`s country manager for Tanzania about the airlines renewed interest in the region after forty years of route operations.
Q: Briefly describe your experiences both present and past of Swiss International Air Lines in Tanzania?s marketplace?
A: I first came to Tanzania in 1992 (at that time I was working with Swissair). I really enjoyed my first experience of Tanzania and I was eager to return. The only change is the frequency of the flights, from 3 times weekly to 5 times weekly.
The market as such is still the same, many missionaries and NGOs, some business travelers and expatriates returning home for a vacation. We still have very little leisure traffic out of Tanzania but an increasing number of tourists coming to Tanzania.
Q: How do you rate Swiss?s market reception in Tanzania and across the East African region?
A: SWISS is often perceived as an expensive airline, because of the excellent service, the high quality of our aircraft and just because Switzerland is an expensive place. However, many people nowadays have realized that SWISS is not expensive but competitive and good value for money.
Q: How is your airline planning to reposition its competitive edge in the world of travel industry?
A: SWISS is a very young airline, founded only in 2002 after the bankruptcy of Swissair. Last year the company already made the breakthrough to record a profit. Globally SWISS is expanding both in terms of opening up new routes, upgrading and buying new aircraft and ensuring our quality service continues to excel. In Tanzania SWISS is very well regarded and we will continue to offer our customers the best quality service and value.
Q: How do you plan to sustain the gains you already enjoy?
A: Swiss International Air Lines stand for quality, reliability, competence and service. With our ?swissness? we already gained many awards. Just now SWISS has been voted ?Europe?s Leading Airline? in the 14th World Travel Awards for the second time. With the awards we strengthen our market presence and identification. We try very hard to keep and even improve our quality standards.
Q: Are there any daunting challenges encountered while
operating in the Tanzanian and East African market at large?
A: There is always a competition in any market. We believe that we have a good reputation in Tanzania, as we compete on service. Our high Swiss standard and especially with the short transfer times at hour hub in Switzerland, allow our customers to travel easily and in style to European destinations. We compete and survive on efficiency benchmarks.
Q:?How does the future of air travel business look like? ??
A: Air travel is a very dynamic business. However I think if you are a company that offers great efficiency, exceptional service and give customers a very pleasant experience then you will survive in this market.
I also think that airlines need to be part of alliance to ensure easy assessable routes to many different destinations. SWISS is part of the Star Alliance we are able to offer a network of 855 destinations in 155 countries.