FastJet flies 40% first time fliers

FastJet, a low-cost carrier, said almost 38 per cent out of 355,000 passengers they had flown in six destinations in the last one year were first time flyers.

The number of first time flyers, the firm said yesterday, illustrating how the company has made air travel more accessible since its first flight to Mwanza from Dar es Salaam one year ago.

The low-cost pan-African airline, is celebrating its first year in operation, today, during which time it has changed the way that Tanzanians travel by offering safe, regular, and affordable flights on its A319 jet aircraft.

The FastJet CEO, Mr Ed Winter, said the airline’s first year of operation has been a tremendous success despite the hurdles it has had to tackle along the way. “FastJet has made excellent progress within its first year of operation.

We have grown the business substantially in the face of many challenges, and our dream of becoming the first, true African low-cost airline is well on its way to becoming a reality,” Mr Winter said in a statement yesterday.

Up to yesterday, has flown more than 355,000 passengers between the country’s major centres of Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and Mbeya, and internationally between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg.

“Tanzania needed a low-cost airline to help stimulate the economy, and we feel FastJet has certainly done that over the last 12 months.” 
 
The airline, initial flied two routes between Dar es Salaam and the airports at Mwanza and Kilimanjaro. It further added two domestic routes and later one first international route to Johannesburg – all in less than one year.

Mr Winter added that plans to launch FastJet’s second international route to Zambia are at an advanced stage. 
 
“While we underestimated the levels of protectionism and bureaucracy that we encountered on our international route expansion, the encouragement that we have received from the Tanzanian government has been remarkable and has made our significant growth in the last year possible,” the CEO said.

“This reliability has also had a significant influence on how Tanzanians approach air travel,” he said, “previously, people would arrive at the airport with cash in hand, to check whether a flight was actually going to take off before they made a booking.”

To celebrate its first birthday, the airline put 1000 seats on a special one-day sale today to be booked at the lowest possible one-way fares of 32,000/- for domestic flights, and 160,000/- for flights to Johannesburg. 
 
FastJet is the holding company for African airlines FastJet and Fly540, which operate in Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Angola.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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