Monday, September 17, 2012

► TANZANIA: FastJet sets Dar es Salaam, then Nairobi as first launch hubs.

FastjetFastJet, the nascent Pan-African LCC carrier being planned by Stelios Haji-Ioannou of easyJet fame, today announced that its first operating base would be in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, followed by Nairobi, Kenya, pending the certification of the Airbus A319 there.

Operations are on track to commence in November of this year, with the carrier's first leased A319 due in the Tanzanian capital next month.

On the new development, Fastjet Chief Executive Officer, Ed Winter said: 
Fastjet Ed Winter
Ed Winter
"Our initial focus will be on East Africa with the airline's first base at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where the A319 aircraft has already been approved by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority. This will be followed by a second base in Nairobi, Kenya, once the A319 is approved there.  We look forward to bringing a great, reliable and affordable service to the people of East Africa."

FastJet Plc, as the holding company for African  LCC Fly540 which operates from four bases in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Angola, will then expand the FastJet brand into Fly540's other operating bases in Accra, Ghana and Luanda, Angola, an undertaking that will require a 40-strong fleet, but which would create "a USD1 billion turnover business."

No doubt this new development will be watched keenly by Tanzania's Precision Air (PW), currently the country's only carrier with both domestic and regional connections, who has had the playing pitch all to itself following the suspension of operations of state-run carrier Air Tanzania (TC) in August.