Long in coming has open hostility finally led to #Fastjet’s AOC being pulled


(Posted 17th December 2018)


Tanzania’s Civil Aviation Authority has delivered a much treasured Christmas present to their ailing national airline by getting rid of competitor Fastjet and clearing the way for ATCL to battle it out with just one remaining scheduled carrier.


Often reported here in the past about the alleged bias of the aviation regulators towards Fastjet, as for instance seen when they jerked the airline around over the registration of ATR aircraft – incidentally operated in the country by Precision Air without any problems – YET. This move cost Fastjet PLC reportedly millions of US Dollars after acquiring the aircraft only to have to dispose of them after months of waiting instead of using their superior operating economics to finally move towards better financial times.
With three ATR’s lined up, which would have also assured a more reliable flight dispatch – the airline’s last such report had a 94 percent punctuality – was the stage set for Fastjet to continue serving the Tanzanian skies and beyond, but officials clearly had other ideas or as is being alleged, different marching orders which included tilting the playing field in favour of the national airline by getting rid of an unwelcome competitor.
It is recalled that earlier in the year, when Fastjet began, twice in fact, to advertise flights to Kigoma, were they compelled to stay off the route ostensibly to leave a monopoly for Air Tanzania, of course able to then charge almost any level of fares given that there is no competitor on the route to keep ticket prices in check.
While a tiny window of opportunity still remains for Fastjet to resume operations, they were given four weeks to submit a new business plan and related documents after Tanzanian citizens had acquired the vast majority of the airline’s shares a few weeks ago, is it highly doubtful, going by aviation pundits from Dar es Salaam, that they will succeed. It was suggested to ATCNews.org that they would have to basically start afresh and come to the regulators with the begging bowl in hand while in contrast the national treasury is showering the national airline with tax payers money.

Who will be next in the cross hairs of these so called regulators, who, by the look of it, have turned into a demolition squad rather than promoting air transport in the country. Watch this space to find out!

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