Tanzania's Fastjet finally cleared for Nairobi route

After years of vigorous lobbying for Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) and Fastjet’s resolve to expand to open destinations in Africa, Fastjet finally got cleared to operate daily passenger flights between Dar es Salaam and Nairobi starting in the next ten days.

According to Fastjet statement, prior to this, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) had firmly denied the airline the licence, a move seen by business analysts as a move to protect Kenya Airways as Fastjet already operates the routes that Kenya airways operates.

The tussle pitted the Tanzanian and Kenyan aviation authorities leading to Tanzania Civil Aviation (TCAA) scaling down from 42 to 14 a week, a matter that was later resolved.

Fastjet, a local budget airline has been upbeat opening domestic and international routes, the latest being the Dar-Zanzibar-Johannesburg. The company is to introduce flights between Zanzibar and Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and Mombasa later in 2016.

The Nairobi-Dar route is currently dominated by Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airways, Fastjet plans to cash in on development domestic and international routes through increasing its destinations from Dar es Salaam by focusing on growing its fleet.

The new development is hoped to increase competition especially since Fastjet is budget airline with international connections to Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and now Kenya.

Fastjet counts on punctuality and reliability in the six-month period in review this year showing that 94 per cent of flights arrived on time (earlier than or within 15 minutes of schedule) with less than one per cent of flights cancelled.

Fastjet is a low-cost airline model, operating a modern, fuel efficient fleet on a short haul, point to point network. Since Fastjet Tanzania was launched on 29 November 2012 it has carried more than 1.5 million passengers with over 75,000 passengers carried in August 2015, a year on year increase of 17 per cent and a new monthly record for Fastjet.

Both passenger volume and capacity increased by 56 per cent for the six months ended 30 June 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, whilst load factor remained unchanged at 70 per cent.

Aircraft utilisation increased over the period to reach 11.2 block hours per aircraft per day by August 2015. This is an optimum figure for the current fleet size and more aircraft are required in order to expand the network.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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