HAPPY BIRTHDAY FASTJET
(Posted 29th November 2013)
Tanzania’s low cost airline FastJet is today reaching their first anniversary since taking to the skies a year ago with a flight from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro and Mwanza.
During the past 12 months has the airline carried around 355.000 passengers, an impressive number by any standards for an upstart airline, especially in Africa. Since then has FastJet added more destinations, on the domestic routes to Zanzibar and to Mbeya, where after only a few weeks of operations the sign are that FastJet will go from 3 flights a week to daily flights, while Johannesburg turned out to be FastJet’s first international destination instead the much awaited flights to Nairobi. FastJet faced huge hurdles put in their way for the flights to South Africa when the South African civil aviation body allegedly succumbed to pressure by home boys SAA to keep FastJet off the route a little longer with surprise last moment demands for more documentation one the very eve of the inaugural flight. SAA according to sources in Dar es Salaam is already facing the music over such what has been considered and mentioned repeatedly ‘foul play’ and is suffering from having to offer lower fares and flying with lower occupancies on their daily flights.
For today has FastJet announced the special sale of 1.000 seats on their entire network at the cost of the lowest fare, normally only obtainable weeks in advance, being 160.000 Tanzania Shillings to Johannesburg and 32.000 Tanzania Shillings for domestic flights to give travellers the opportunity to sample what it is like over the skies of Tanzania and down to South Africa.
One issue continues to dog the airline however, which is the fact that they continue to refuse to outright advertise the final cost of a ticket, to which in addition fees for checked baggage have to be paid on check in. This issue has remained a thorn in the side of consumer protection bodies as well as others promoting honest advertising, citing the way European regulators have imposed rules to only show the final cost one has to pay and do away with the early days of false advertising by LCC’s showing 1 Pound or 1 Euro fares to which then a huge amount of money had to be added for regulatory charges, taxes and fees.
That notwithstanding however, today it is Happy Birthday to FastJet in Tanzania and happy landings for the next twelve months and beyond.