Resolve jet fuel supply crisis, Mwinyi demands

ZANZIBAR President Hussein Mwinyi has directed authorities handling jet fuel supply at the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA) to resolve the current fuel supply and price crisis at the airport.

President Mwinyi said this here on Wednesday, when he met PUMA Energy Company that is the sole jet fuel supplier in Zanzibar.

“Some international airlines are reluctant to have Zanzibar schedules just because of an unreliable supply of jet fuel and uncompetitive costs. This must end to allow smooth operations at the airport,” Dr Mwinyi said.

The president demanded Puma Energy to increase fuel storage so that there is no shortage and also observe the international competitive market when setting prices to avoid unnecessary price hikes, which highly affect domestic flights operators to Pemba, Tanga, Arusha and Dar es Salaam.

In a meeting with the Puma Energy Company at the Vuga based State House in Unguja, Dr Mwinyi said that fuel price crisis has led to some international airlines to refuel in Dar es Salaam and Mombasa.

“We want to see that all investors in Zanzibar enjoy a conducive environment with easy access to fuel and at reasonable prices in a competitive market,” he said.

Elaborating, the President warned that if the fuel and price hike crisis persists at the Airport, he will not hesitate to instruct the Zanzibar Airports Authority (ZAA) to look at the possibility of finding another jet fuel supplier to end the monopoly in the business.

Dr Mwinyi emphasised, “We want quality assurance for the storage and distribution of aviation fuels to airports.  All investors in the Islands must be served equally, have fair competition, for the benefit of people.”

He explained that currently his government is determined to invest in increasing storage capacity of fuel, which can also be used during emergency times and advised the Puma Energy Company to establish storage facilities or reserve at Mangapwaji port, Unguja North, where modern fuels depots and warehouses are being developed.

Speaking on the construction of the new Pemba airport, Dr Mwinyi said the government is providing equal opportunities for both Unguja and Pemba in an investment programme, so that no place is left behind in achieving development goals.

He said that many stakeholders have already come forward to invest in the Free Economic Zone areas, while also advising Puma Energy to invest in Pemba.

The CEO- Puma Energy in the African Region, Mr Fadi Mitri assured President Mwinyi and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar that the company will strive to improve efficiency.

“The challenges which emerged in fuel supply and complaints about price will be solved as we also plan to expand our business to Pemba. We look forward to operating in a modern way and we guarantee providing the best services,” Mr Mitri promised.

He said the Puma Energy Company will invest in the modern infrastructure to enable international flight services at the airport, as it is the case with the Dnata Company that provides the best ground handling airport services in various countries in the world.

He said despite Dnata providing services at the AAKIA at the airport, Puma Energy Company is already eyeing to establish services in Pemba.

“We ask to strengthen collaboration with the Zanzibar government as this will also result in increasing more international flights directly to Zanzibar,” he said.

He said Puma Energy serves more than 80 flights in Africa and that wooing more international flights to Zanzibar may be easy for them and make Zanzibar the best destination for visitors- easy to reach and to enjoy the beauty of its islands. Puma Energy, headquartered in Singapore, operates at more than 80 airports around the world.


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