Fly540 Tanzania, which promotes itself as Africa’s first low cost carrier, first began operating low cost flights in the Tanzania transport sector in July 2009 and is currently preparing to introduce three weekly flights between Mwanza and Nairobi early next week.
The introduction of these weekly flights comes after the introduction of Fly540 services between Kilimanjaro and Nairobi earlier this year, making Mwanza the second destination on mainland Tanzania for the low cost airline.
In addition to these services, Fly540 also operates flights between Zanzibar and Nairobi, which operate twice daily.
According to a statement that was released earlier this week, the airline will operate its flights on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays with a departure time of 2:30 pm from the Mwanza airport and 10:40 am from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.
“The flights will be operated with 50-seater CRJ-100 jet aircraft,” read the statement.
Currently, the airline is offering its passengers an introductory one way fare of USD 199 plus taxes for a flight from Mwanza to Nairobi.
The Daily News Tanzania has reported that, according to the Operations Director for Fly540, Nixon Ooko, due to the signing of the East African Common Market Protocol, tourism and trade in the region had witnessed dramatic growth.
“There will be significant growth in air travel throughout the East African region and our airline is ready to meet this need,” he added, “The recent acquisition of a CRJ-100 will be followed by additional jet and turbo prop aircraft to support further expansion. We are bullish about the future of air travel in East Africa and beyond and we forecast our business to double in 2010.”
Fly540 first opened its operations in November 2006 with once daily flights between Nairobi and Mombasa for business and holiday travelers.
The offer of low cost flights helped to promote the airline’s popularity, which now offers its customers nine destinations in Kenya as well regional services to Entebbe, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza and Bujumbura, with plans to expand further in the near future.
“Fly540 is evolving into a Pan Africa airline,” said Mr. Ooko, “To supplement the fleet at our Nairobi hub we have based aircraft in Tanzania and Uganda. There are also plans to open up hubs in Angola, Ghana and Zimbabwe.”