FASTJET ANNOUNCES PLANS TO FLY TO SONGWE
(Posted 30th August 2013)
FastJet has earlier this week announced plans to fly, from November onwards, to Mbeya’s newly developed Songwe Airport (see previous articles on this subject), located some 25 kilometres outside the city. After Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza and Zanzibar will Songwe be the fifth airport to have a tarmac runway capable to accommodate jets, whereas most other airports and aerodromes across Tanzania only permit the use of turboprop aircraft due to their shorter and often unpaved runways. Mbeya is the last major urban centre before reaching the border with Zambia, but also with Malawi and Congo DR. The town is also a waypoint for the TAZARA railway which connects the port of Dar es Salaam with Zambia.
Runway 9/27 at Songwe has a length, according to airport information confirmed by the TCAA, of 10.925 feet or about 3.300 metres and an elevation of 1.345 metres or 4.412 feet above mean sea level. FastJet will commence operations with three flights a week though precise schedule details were not available at the time of uploading this article. This will be FastJet’s fourth Tanzanian mainland destination, after Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Mwanza. The airline’ international first international flight from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg will commence in a few days time as reported here before.
As usual has FastJet again only given their fares without taxes and fees, the lowest starting at US Dollars 20 if booked weeks in advance, a method considered somewhat deceptive, as the true cost of the ticket only becomes apparent when actually booking and paying for it. This practice has been repeatedly criticized by consumer groups in Tanzania which demand all inclusive prizes to be shown, be it in restaurants, shops or for airline tickets too.
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