FASTJET NEARS FORMAL TICKET SALES LAUNCH
Competitors are already poking fun at the tail graphics of soon to fly FastJet, declaring it tongue in cheek as the face of the vulture, keen to pick money off the bones of unsuspecting travelers falling prey to the US Dollar 20 fare, the airline keeps peddling and dangling like the proverbial carrot.
While FastJet is now finally admitting that there will be added charges like airport taxes and fees, or charges for checked baggage, not once has the airline fully disclosed the overall cost of the ticket according to the scale of advance bookings set by them. ‘Can they be forced by government or TCAA to tell the public what one has to pay to fly. It is now clear that it is NOT 20 Dollars but a lot more. They should be forced to display the full ticket cost alongside their miracle fare so that someone does not go to the airport with 20 Dollars and hopes to fly to Mwanza or Arusha’ lamented a regular aviation source from Dar es Salaam who then went on to suggest that the 20 Dollar fare will backfire on FastJet because ‘when Tanzanians wake up to the truth they will be harsh in judging them and not believing them a word they will then say. When the stories come out about how much one has to really pay, that will be the time when they will realize that they have chosen the wrong avenue to promote themselves’.
Struggling with logistical issues, the new airline has also pushed their intended launch date to later in November, while it is understood from a regular source close to Air Tanzania, that the national airline is pulling out all the stops to recapture market share lost during the time it had no aircraft to hold against the newcomers. Precision Air in turn is reportedly monitoring FastJet’s activities closely in regard of departure times for the initial flights on domestic routes and the route to Nairobi, where both PW and KQ are expected to launch ‘countermeasures’ such as added benefits vis a vis miles earned on the route, easier upgrades, lounge access for frequent flyers and more, something FastJet cannot at this stage match in the absence of an traveler incentive scheme or access to lounges AND no business class.
Clearly time will tell but as sales will go underway it remains to be seen what true cost of travel will emerge and if FastJet will have ANY flexibility to cater for date changes should a traveler miss a departure date or make good of their threat that the ticket, once paid for, is either used on the day and the booked flight or else can be used to light a fire. Watch this space.