REGULATORY DELAYS, ROUTE DENIALS AND HEAVILY TILTED AVIATION PLAYFIELD SEEN AS REASONS FOR DECISION
(Posted 04th October 2018)
Disturbing news are emerging from Fastjet’s head office that the airline apparently decided to halt funding for their Tanzanian franchise, the first in the group to take to the skies and for many years faithfully serving Tanzanian with low fares and reliable connections.
It appears, and notably has management not responded at this time to enquiries, that the airline’s top management simply decided that enough was enough, after aviation regulators in Dar es Salaam continued their wait until forever game they played over the airline’s new fleet of ATR72 aircraft.
As said before have the Tanzanian authorities heavily tilted the playing field in favour of their own national airline, with no hesitation over the impact on the industry and the country’s standing as an investment destination – in any case falling apart over the decision to prohibit arbitration and forcing the use of a local court system which is seen abroad as far from independent and allegedly often ready to implement political decisions from the bench.
It remains now to be seen what steps will follow next but with funding from abroad halted is it now anyone’s guess for how long the airline can continue to operate, given the hostile market environment unleashed upon them.
Operations in Zimbabwe and Mozambique however will continue as usual and Fastjet there is fully supported by Solenta, one of the airline’s major shareholders, based in South Africa.
There is growing speculation when Fastjet will announce the launch of operations in South Africa, where Solenta has ready to fly operator permits available, as they incidentally do in several other countries.
Said a regular aviation source in Dar es Salaam when contacted earlier in the afternoon: ‘The writing was on the wall. Our aviation officials delayed delayed and delayed them, which can be seen as obstruction, probably aiming to please their political masters. With Fastjet out of the way will fares no doubt rise and the Tanzanian traveling public will pay the price. Other private airlines should not jubilate, because they too may well be in the cross hairs of those people who want a monopoly again for Air Tanzania which will let them set fares at will. This is a sad day for Tanzanian aviation, for investors in Tanzania, should your story be confirmed‘.
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