FASTJET EXPANDS GDS PRESENCE TO 7 KEY SYSTEMS
(Posted 24th January 2014)
If declared intent is to be followed by purpose and harbinger of things to come, the announcement by FastJet that they are now ‘live’ on the 7 most important global reservation and flight information systems surely must be one of those eye openers.
Under a recently signed partnership deal with Hahn Air Systems, the airline is now available under Marketing Code H1 and Operations Code FN and can be found in Amadeus, Apollo, AXESS, Galileo, Sabre, Sirena and Worldspan.
Richard Bodin, the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer, commented on this groundbreaking development as follows: ‘FastJet’s primary booking channel has historically been a direct one, with travel agents and passengers booking their tickets online at www.fastjet.com in order to receive the greatest benefit of our low-cost model. The availability of FastJet flights through all of the main GDS now allows travel agents to make use of their preferred booking and payment channels – either via FastJet’s dedicated agent portal or through a GDS of their choice’.
The airline presently operates three times a week between Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and tickets via GDS are priced from 1864 ZAR one way, inclusive of all surcharges, airport charges, government taxes, and one piece of checked-in baggage weighing 20 kilograms. The pricing is a departure from FastJet’s common practice in Tanzania, where for domestic flights they advertise a fare and then add various charges and taxes on that fare, plus charge for checked in bags, showing that better practice is indeed possible and will hopefully be the rule rather than the exception in the future.
The first flight for FastJet’s second international route between Dar es Salaam and Lusaka is scheduled for the 01st of February and will operate twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays. The airline’s core business however is still their Tanzanian domestic network operating from their base in Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, Kilimanjaro and their most recent addition Mbeya, which has already gone to daily flights. All of these services will now be accessible via GDS.
Richard Bodin then added in closing: ‘Since going live on GDS we have already seen a flurry of bookings, with significant sales enquiries coming in from the South African travel trade and from as far afield as China, Australia and the United States’.
While the airline has suffered a significant first year loss, in part due to the less than anticipated utilization of their jet aircraft – FastJet is still waiting to get direct access to the crucially important Kenyan market – load factors have began to climb towards more viable levels in recent weeks. December was reported to be FastJet’s most successful month yet in terms of passengers carried and revenues achieved, providing a bit of much needed light at the end of the startup tunnel.
Key indicator data, while not required by law to be publicly announced in Tanzania, where FastJet is registered and holds an Air Services License and an Air Operators Certificate, only need reporting to the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority but the airline’s umbrella company FastJet PLC, being registered and listed in the UK, is compelled to make regular public announcements which have in the past provided insight into the financial and operating figures. Watch this space for breaking and regular news from Eastern Africa’s aviation scene.