BULAWAYO HERE WE COME … SAYS FASTJET
(Posted 11th July 2018)
Fastjet this afternoon officially confirmed what has been published here as breaking news a few weeks ago already, that the Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority has finally given the airline route rights to fly between the capital Harare and the country’s second city Bulawayo.
This will come as a relief to long suffering travelers who in the past were subjected to often long delays and even flight cancellations, leave alone the cost of the ticket.
Fastjet is expected to hit the market with low fares – as long as bookings are done well in advance – opening travel by air for an entirely new market segment of people who hitherto had to travel by bus or rail, when they launch flights on the 20th of this month.
This brings to a successful conclusion a wait of over three years during which the regulators diddled and fiddled with the application, failing the general public who for years had demanded that Fastjet be given route rights to bring affordable and dependable flight services to them.
Said Nico Bezuidenhout, CEO of Fastjet, when making the announcement: ‘Fastjet has been pursuing this route designation for several years,” says fastjet chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout. We are delighted to see that positive changes in the Zimbabwean environment made this development possible, enabling low-fare connectivity between more domestic destinations‘.
Fastjet will celebrate its third year of Zimbabwean operations in October and according to Nico ‘has invested substantially in the market with positive outcomes. While we are launching with a single frequency at present, fastjet intends to further grow the route following further consultation with stakeholders and ultimately to introduce additional aircraft to facilitate growth‘.
It is expected that the airline will soon introduce ATR 72 aircraft to their Zimbabwe operation after earlier this year acquiring three of these turboprop planes which, as is planned in Tanzania, will be deployed on shorter but also new routes to destinations where jet aircraft can presently not land.
Notably has Fastjet maintained an on time departure record in recent months of over 90 percent, finally bringing reliability to the air transport sector in Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe CAA, responded to a question by ATCNews.org in regard to finally granting route rights to Fastjet to fly from Harare to Bulawayo:
Q) fastjet last week confirmed that they were given landing rights for flights between Harare and Bulawayo, a move welcomed by the travelling public.
As a regulator, but also a promoter of air transport, what other domestic routes would you like either fastjet or other airlines serve on a scheduled basis?
Response: As a regulator and promoter of air transport we would want to have all our established airports regularly and reliably serviced by the right sized equipment.