FASTJET MANAGEMENT LAMENTS ‘FALSE STARTS’
(Posted 17th June 2013)
FastJet’s management, while announcing that the airline has been granted international route rights as a designated carrier between Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg, Kigali and Lusaka, lamented that ‘We have spent so much time lobbying to make this happen and had so many false starts’ claiming it has held the airline back for the past 6 months since starting operations in Tanzania. While FastJet’s CEO Ed Winter was quoted to have spoken of a ‘real breakthrough’ a source close to Tanzania’s Civil Aviation Authority promptly responded, saying such comments were only bound to aggravate the regulators, who in his words ‘… do not feel appreciated by such statements after carefully studying the application and its benefits or disadvantages for Tanzania’s aviation industry and for the country. Regulators take whatever time it takes to do their job and if airlines feel they are wasting their time lobbying it does not show a good understanding of what such decisions entail’.
At the same time as the announcement for international traffic rights was made information was also made available that the startup of domestic flights in South Africa was to be delayed further, with no specific reasons given. Existing LCC’s in South Africa have reportedly been preparing for the market entry of FastJet as a new competitor, though none of them made any comments to the latest development. No new date was given for the commencement of domestic services in South Africa which had been postponed twice before, nor were any dates mentioned of the start of international flights from Dar es Salaam, other than that they would start before the end of the year. Watch this space for breaking and regular news from East Africa’s vibrant aviation scene.