FASTJET FINALLY LANDS IN JOHANNESBURG
(Posted 19th October 2013)
Flight FN0201, the inaugural flight of FastJet’s first international route, arrived yesterday morning at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport from Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport at 11.45 hrs.
This flight, delayed for some weeks as a result of competitor pressure brought to bear on the South African civil aviation department, ushered in a new era for passengers who have in the past had to pay very high fares on flights between DAR and JNB, prompting many to fly via Nairobi or Kigali to take advantage of better fares.
Flights between the two cities will initially be operated three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, increasing in frequency as soon as occupancies and demand justify more flights.
The flights will depart from Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport at 09.15 hrs (a.m.), and land at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport at 11.45 hrs after a flight time of just 3 ½ hours. The return flight from Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam departs back to DAR at 12.45 hrs local time, landing back home at 17.10 hrs.
Tickets on these flights between Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam are priced from R1,600 one way, inclusive of all airport and government taxes, which were given as approximately R555, which is a departure from the way FastJet advertises their fares from Dar es Salaam. There, and in the face of continued criticism over this practice, they have been shy since their inception to name directly an inclusive cost of the ticket and leave it to the passengers to piece meal together the ultimate cost of a ticket. One source suggested the different handling of how they advertise in South Africa is a result of consumer protection, something which hopefully reaches East Africa soon to compel airlines to engage in a more honest way of advertising the cost of their tickets.
FastJet officials however were not shy to call current fare levels a Rip Off, something everyone in the business agrees with.
In addition to the ticket cost however is FastJet charging for checked luggage at a cost of 110 Rand per bag, one way. One piece of hand luggage is permitted for each passenger.
It was recently reported here that South African passport holders do not need a visa to visit Tanzania if they enter the country for 90 days or less, reciprocated now by South Africa for Tanzanians, hopefully spurring a boom of travel between the two countries in coming months, now that the fares have come down from the previously charged over 6.000 Rand, return, which compares to 3.200 Rand on FastJet, PLUS the cost of checked baggage and on board consumption. Watch this space for breaking and regular news from Eastern Africa’s aviation market.
(FastJet file picture)