In an effort to address an increase in demand, the Tanzania-based budget airline, Fastjet, has introduced a third international route in Africa, linking the capitals of Dar es Salaam with Harare in Zimbabwe.
According to Ed Winter, Fastjet CEO, the response from the customers in Zimbabwe has been overwhelming with the first few flights nearly sold out.
“Clearly as demand grows, we will satisfy that demand by adding more flights and see no reason why this route cannot reach a daily frequency quickly,” he said during the inaugural flight.
Winter went on to cite that Fastjet had transported nearly 700,000 in the company’s 20 months of operation with minimal cancellations and a punctuality rate of 95%.
In the first six months of operation, Fastjet reports that 38% of its passengers were first-time flyers and they project similar results with the introduction of the new Harare route.
“This has really demonstrated how the Fastjet low-cost model can stimulate the market,” said Winter, “Affordable air travel is key to the growth of economies across Africa.”
According to the Ambassador of Tanzania to Zimbabwe, Adadi Rajabu, the entry of the Tanzania airline to Zimbabwe will not only directly connect Zimbabwe with Tanzania, but will also help to consolidate air connectivity in the region
“We believe this bilateral air connectivity between Zimbabwe and Tanzania will have magnified effects to neighboring countries,” said Hon. Rajabu who went on to indicate that he expects the improved connectivity will help to further improve bilateral trade relations between the two countries.