Fastjet introduces third flight

HARARE - Budget airline Fastjet, which flew its maiden Dar es Salaam-Harare flight on August 5, has introduced a third weekly flight spurred by overwhelming demand.

Ed Winter, Fastjet interim chairman and chief executive, said: “With future bookings also looking strong, we have decided to add a third rotation each Thursday, which we expect to commence at the end of next month.”

The airline is servicing the route with one-way tickets available from as low as $114 including government taxes, significantly cheaper than fares from operators offering non-direct flights between the two cities.

The airline added the flight following strong demand, with sales on the route surpassing expectations. Only a handful of seats remain for travel to Tanzania from Zimbabwe in August, and this trend is expected to continue into September bookings, Winter said.

The London Stock Exchange-listed budget carrier says it expects its capacity to continue to rise in the third quarter, projecting that “August will see a further uplift in capacity with the introduction of flights to Harare in Zimbabwe.”

With operations in Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa, the company said its month-on-month capacity rose by 8 percent, with 72 355 seats flown in July compared to 67 425 in June, while revenue per passenger was strong with a 22 percent increase month-on-month.

Zimbabwean traders and car importers use the port at Dar es Salaam extensively while Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zanzibar to the east of Tanzania are popular tourist destinations.

Meanwhile, comments on social media platforms echoed sentiments made by Fastjet chief executive Winter that “this route will stimulate business and tourism in regions where citizens have had to depend on lengthy road transportation or have been excluded from air travel by the significant costs of flying.”

One comment read: “The flight is better than using the road transport where you are charged $90 for three gruesome days with $100 for just under 3 hours (flying).

Others commended the airliner’s “good deals”.

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