More flights announced for Fastjet’s latest destination


(Posted 07th August 2014)

Fastjet yesterday launched their third international destination out of Dar es Salaam with the inaugural flight to Harare in Zimbabwe, the only nonstop connection between the two countries.

This follows hugely successful flights to Johannesburg and Lusaka, besides serving Tanzania’s domestic market from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya and Kilimanjaro and now 25 weekly flights from Dar es Salaam to the lake side city of Mwanza.

The initially planned Tuesday and Saturday flights will be supplemented with a third weekly frequency every Thursday, as the demand on the route exceeded all expectations.

Zimbabwe’s Minister for Transport Dr. Obert Mpofu, who was at the airport in Harare to receive the inaugural flight, welcomed the aircraft, crew and passengers – the flight was fully booked – and said: ‘The Government of Zimbabwe is delighted that Fastjet is expanding its international route network to include Harare, and that in doing so it is bringing its low-cost, reliable and safe service to the people of Zimbabwe. Fastjet’s entry into Zimbabwe demonstrates the Ministry of Transport’s on-going commitment to the improvement of our country’s aviation industry. We look forward to continuing our discussions with Fastjet regarding the airline’s further expansion in Zimbabwe’ the latter comment likely referring to Zimbabwe’s desire to have Fastjet set up an operation in the country.

Ed Winter of Fastjet responded to the Minister when he said: ‘Fastjet has responded to requests from Zimbabweans and Tanzanians asking for a direct route connecting these two cities with affordable, reliable flights. Until now, travellers had to depend on lengthy road transportation or have been excluded from air travel by the significant costs of flying an indirect route through Nairobi or Johannesburg. We believe that affordable fares will enable more people to travel between Zimbabwe and Tanzania, strengthening the countries’ relationships and boosting their tourism and business sectors, contributing significantly to the economic growth of both countries. Affordable air travel is key to the growth of economies across Africa. It is expensive and time-consuming to build roads to connect cities, inconvenient for people to travel over land, and if there are existing airlines flying any particular route, they still exclude the majority of a country’s citizens due to the high cost of those flights. Yesterday’s flight from Harare was fully booked, as is Saturday’s. With future bookings also looking strong we’ve decided to add a third rotation each Thursday which we expect to commence at the end of next month’.

Tickets for flights on the direct route went on sale in June 2014, with fares starting as low as Tanzania Shillings 80.000 or US$50 one-way, excluding airport and government taxes, considerably more affordable than the non-direct flights that are currently the only air link between the two cities.

Aviation pundits are now speculating when the airline will launch more flights from Dar es Salaam into the East African region with Entebbe and Nairobi two prime targets, while also keenly watching the process of setting up a Fastjet operation in Kenya. Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from across Eastern Africa.

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