Fastjet’s flights to Kenya start next week

Traveling to and from Nairobi from Dar es Salaam is likely to become much cheaper, thanks to the low cost carrier, fastjet that has announced to extend wings to the Kenyan capital.

Fastjet Tanzania was given clearance by the Kenyan government to operate flights between Kenya and Tanzania under the Bilateral Air Services Agreement between the two countries, as previously approved by Dar es Salaam.

Fastjet fares will be significantly lower than the fares currently charged by the two other airlines that are the only operators currently operating direct flights between the two cities.

“The travelling public pays extortionate fares for regional air travel, as the lack of competition on many routes keeps prices artificially high, making air travel beyond the reach of many,” says Mr John Corse, fastjet General Manager for Tanzania.

Tickets for flights on the new routes are on sale immediately, with Nairobi/Kilimanjaro fares starting from 50 US dollars one-way, and Dar es Salaam/Nairobi fares starting from 80 US dollars one-way.

“Passenger traffic between the major cities of Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, which have a combined population of over 8 million, has been limited by these high air fares which we believe, have excluded large percentages of citizens from air travel,” says Mr Corse.

Fastjet additionally announced that it expects to launch flights between Zanzibar and Nairobi as well as Dar es Salaam and Mombasa later in 2016.

Return flights from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport and Kilimanjaro International Airport will initially operate daily, using fastjet’s modern Airbus A319 jet aircraft with seating for up to 156 passengers.

More flights are expected to be added by fastjet to these routes as consumer demand increases for its affordable and on-time service.

He said that this in turn will strengthen the two countries’ relationship, boost tourism and business, and contribute significantly to both countries’ economic growth.

Mr Corse noted that the only alternative to flying is to undertake long and arduous journeys by road, which can take more than 12 hours from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi.

Supporting this expectation is research undertaken by fastjet, showing that more than one third of its passengers were first time flyers able to afford air travel for the first time.

“Affordable air travel is key to the growth of economies across Africa, and fastjet has been able to announce these new routes by working closely with the governments and civil aviation authorities of Tanzania and Kenya, who understand and value the positive impact that low-cost air travel can have on the lives of their citizens and the general economy,” he explained.

Fastjet already operates internationally between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg in South Africa, Lusaka in Zambia, Entebbe in Uganda, Harare in Zimbabwe and Lilongwe in Malawi.

Fastjet additionally operates the Kilimanjaro to Entebbe route.
Source: Daily News, reported by Masembe Tambwe, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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