FastJet to fly to Nairobi soon

Fastjet, low-cost carrier, will extend its network to Nairobi, Kenya in this year, to add the number of regional routes to three.

The pan-Africa budget airline said the Dar-Nairobi frequency would not take long since negotiations have been going on for quite some time.

According to chief executive Ed Winter, the flights from Tanzania to Kenya will take off this year. “I hope to be flying to Kenya before long. Negotiations have been going on a long time now and I think there’s a level of activity now that elections are over,” Mr Winter said.

The airline believes that by establishing cheap, regular and reliable services, it will stimulate Africa’s aviation market, lowering costs for customers and creating the connectivity that the continent needs.

Fastjet currently operates from a base in Tanzania, but will also establish a registered company in Zambia this year, allowing it to create a network of domestic flights within the landlocked southern African country. “In Zambia we have found the government really welcoming.

In fact they contacted us originally, so they are the countries who see the opportunity for low-cost aviation,” says Mr Winter, a former pilot who previously held senior positions at easyJet and Go.

Fastjet hopes to become the first continent-wide budget airline, using Tanzania as a springboard into the continent in the same way that easyJet used the UK to launch across Europe in the 1990s.

It plans to create bases in countries other than Zambia and Tanzania, and is eyeing operations Angola and Kenya – potentially using the Fly540 brand it acquired from Lonrho.

The group registered 20 per cent growth in revenues for December compared to the previous month, thanks to stabilising Tanzanian operations.

Earnings climbed to 3.6million US dollars as the number of passengers increased, and yield on each of those individuals reached 97 US dollars compared to 45 US dollars in January 2013.
Source: Daily News and Agencies, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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