KENYA CIVIL AVIATION GAZETTES FASTJET APPLICATION FOR AIR SERVICE LICENSE
(Posted 28th August 2014)
After setting up a limited liability company in Kenya, named Fastjet Kenya Ltd., which complies with ownership requirements under Kenyan law, is Fastjet now keenly awaiting to see their application for an air service license formally gazetted, expected to happen on Friday 29th of August. The KCAA is then expected to hear from the applicants in person, or through representatives, at a public licensing meeting 21 days after the gazette notice has been published.
Although objections are expected to be filed from Kenyan airlines worried about competition, it is widely expected that the KCAA will grant an air service license which in turn will pave the way to commence the process to attain an AOC and then commence flights.
While no timeframe was given by Fastjet at this time, attaining an AOC ordinarily takes up to three months during which time the applicant will have to meet a number of criteria in an audit like process before being cleared to take to the skies.
Fastjet at that stage is expected to launch domestic flights within Kenya and regional flights similar to the company’s operation in Tanzania.
A senior airline official was quoted in a media release to have commented about these current developments: ‘This is an important step for Fastjet. We have submitted a comprehensive application to the authorities who have confirmed that Fastjet Kenya has entered the approval process. We look forward to bringing the Fastjet operation to Kenya, offering our market stimulating fares, our excellent on time performance and friendly service. We are excited at the prospect of extending the footprint of the Fastjet operation through greater penetration of the African market with a Kenyan-based airline. This is in addition to the application for Fastjet Tanzania to operate services into Kenya from Tanzania’.
Kenya was the intended start up country for Fastjet but a series of disputes with former partner Fly540 effectively prevented this to happen, leaving Fastjet to commence operations in Tanzania where it now serves 4 domestic airports and three international destinations, Johannesburg, Harare and Lusaka, though there is intense speculation that the airline may commence flights soon between Dar es Salaam and Entebbe / Uganda. When rather than if Fastjet enters the Kenyan market they will go head on with former partner Fly540 – the two companies have since severed ties – as well as with Kenya Airways’ in house LCC Jambojet and two other recent upstarts which operate to Kisumu and Mombasa respectively. The launch of Fastjet in Kenya will add new momentum to the rather static aviation scene on the domestic market where, for all intent and purpose, only Kenya Airways, Jambojet and Fly540 have significant marketshare and dominate the domestic routes from Nairobi to such destinations as Mombasa, Malindi, Eldoret and Kisumu. Watch this space for breaking and regular news updates from the vibrant aviation scene across Eastern Africa.