Friday, June 14, 2013

► TANZANIA: fastjet suspends South Africa launch as traffic rights to Lusaka, Kigali and Johannesburg are granted.

fastjetStruggling Tanzanian LCC, fastjet (FN), has been granted rights to service routes from Tanzania to South Africa, Zambia and Rwanda it has emerged. As a result of this development, the fastjet board has taken the decision to put the July 1 launch of its domestic South African operation temporarily on hold so that it can direct all its efforts and resources to starting its international services as soon as possible

CEO and Chairman of fastjet, Ed Winter, said that initial focus would be given to the launch of its Tanzanian subsidiary's international operations before a South African operation could be launched.
"Bringing the fastjet brand to South Africa is a cornerstone in the creation of our pan-African network.  We remain totally committed to launching the fastjet brand in South Africa as soon as possible, but given all the time and effort the team has invested over the past months to secure our international route designations, we have taken the sensible decision to prioritize setting up these lucrative and high profile routes first, before turning our attention to launch the fastjet brand on domestic routes in South Africa."
Commenting on today's other news, Mr Winter, said launch dates of flights from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg, Kigali and Lusaka would be announced soon.
"We have expended huge effort over the past six months in obtaining these rights and we can only thank the government and population of Tanzania who have lobbied hard to allow us to gain access to the bilateral rights to operate to these countries."
Mr Winter noted that the potentially lucrative Johannesburg route was expected to perform especially well seeing as, following Precision Air's (PW) decision to pull out of the route, no Tanzanian carriers currently plied it.
"We are especially pleased to be launching flights between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg and we expect this to be a particularly popular route. South African Airways has had a monopoly on this route for far too long and we are very keen to offer substantially more affordable fares to customers and further stimulate the potential traffic between these key African cities. This can only have a very positive effect on the critical trade, commercial and tourism industries between South Africa and Tanzania."
fastjet had originally planned flights to Nairobi, Entebbe, Moroni and others but was forced to suspend the routes' launch owing to a lack of traffic rights.