Wednesday, July 24, 2013

► UGANDA: fastjet outlines further African licencing plans with Uganda, Zambia now mentioned.

fastjetFurther to a previous report in which fastjet (FN) allured to being in talks with four unnamed African carriers over possible partnerships, company Chief Commercial Officer, Mr Richard Bodin, has said that his airline, in addition to now having a "confirmed licence" in Nigeria, was now close to completing the initial steps for applications to fly in Uganda though gave no further details.

During a recent Facebook Q&A session with the general public, Mr Bodin stated regarding future plans for Uganda and Entebbe as a destination:
Richard Bodin
"As well as in South Africa, we have recently confirmed licenses in Nigeria, and are close to completing initial steps for applications to fly in Uganda. International routes can take a long time to confirm, but we’re making positive steps towards launching our brand more widely across Africa."
"Uganda and Mozambique are both exciting destinations that fastjet is keen to add to its route network. I strongly believe a flight between Dar es Salaam and Entebbe should be operating soon," he said.
Kigali is still said to be on hold while landing fees are sorted out with authorities here.

Flights to Harare and Victoria Falls have also been considered though this would likely only be addressed after the successful launch of the outfit's South African subsidiary, due to come on line once the airline's Dar Es Salaam - Johannesburg route, which is still in the process of resolving its landing slot times, launches.

Mr Bodin also noted that the carrier's planned Kenyan subsidiary was awaiting approval from Nairobi after an application was submitted "several months ago." It is to be recalled that following several months of acrimonious press releases between fastjet and fly540, the two entities finally reached an agreement over outstanding financial concerns thereby paving the way for a fastjet licencing application.

In response to further questions about other locations, Mr Bodin stated that fastjet is in negotiations with the government in Lusaka and also "plans to launch within Zambia in the next couple of months". Mukuba Airlines, a planned indigenous LCC, has also moved to start operations in Zambia, though its status is still unknown.