The Tanzania-based low-cost carrier, Fastjet, is celebrating its second year of operations with reports indicating that they have transported more 870,000 passengers over a distance of approximately 6.5 million km on a total of 8,200 flights since it was first established in November 2012.
With a time performance record of 90%, Fastjet is recognized as a punctual, reliable and affordable low-cost carrier with 38% of its passengers reportedly identified as first-time flyers.
According to Jimmy Kibati, the General Manager of Fastjet East Africa, the company is eager to make travel more affordable and accessible to Africans.
“Affordable air travel is key to the growth of economies across Africa – particularly in the business and tourism sectors,” he said, “It is expensive and time-consuming to build roads to connect cities, and it is inconvenient for people to travel over land [and] the exorbitant fares charged by airlines on these routes exclude the majority of a country’s citizens from enjoying the convenience and timesaving benefits of airline travel.”
Mr. Kibati went on to indicate that it was important to maintain the airline’s hub in the commercial capital of Tanzania given that Dar es Salaam is expected to continue to grow as a major regional and global center for both industry and trade.
Fastjet first launched its commercial flight operations in Tanzania on November 29, 2014 with domestic flights from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro and Mwanza and has since expanded its network to include additional domestic flights to Mbeya as well as an international network of flights to South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Additional growth is expected for Fastjet with plans to expand its fleet from three to thirteen A319’s by the end of next year and further growth in 2016 and 2017 will see the fleet expand again to 24 aircraft following the expansion of new affiliates in Zambia, Kenya, and South Africa.
“There are more than one billion people on the African continent, which is home to just 3% of the world’s aviation business, and the continent remains in desperate need of improved and affordable aviation connectivity,” concluded Mr. Kibati.