Fastjet sets base in Zim

HARARE - London Stock Exchange-listed low-cost airline Fastjet has embarked on a recruitment drive as the company moves to establish operations in Zimbabwe.

“We are growing quickly and are on the lookout for talented people to implement our business model and be part of our team,” said the airliner on Thursday.

The available vacancies, which include pilots, head of ground operations, cabin crew and dispatch supervisors among others, will enable individuals to become a part of one of Africa’s fastest growing airlines.

Since commencing operations in 2012, Fastjet has welcomed over a million passengers on board with 35 percent of them being first time flyers.

The low-cost airline, which aims to provide a pan-African service, launched its maiden flight to Zimbabwe on the Dar es Salaam-Harare route in August last year.

The airline has since increased its frequency on the route to three times a week after being overwhelmed by demand for its tickets.

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.

Speaking at the budget airline’s launch of a third weekly flight to Harare last year, Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Obert Mpofu said Fastjet’s entry into Zimbabwe demonstrated the ministry’s ongoing commitment to improve the country’s aviation industry.

He said the ministry would look forward to continuing the discussions with Fastjet regarding the airline’s further expansion in Zimbabwe.

“The Government of Zimbabwe is delighted that Fastjet is expanding its international route network to include Harare and that in doing so it is bringing its low-cost, reliable and safe service to the people of Zimbabwe,” Mpofu said.

The minister added that the initiative would go a long way in increasing connectivity and would also improve trade between Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

He, however, urged Fastjet to take advantage of another opportunity to introduce direct flights to Victoria Falls from Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The Ambassador of Tanzania to Zimbabwe Adadi Rajabu said Fastjet’s entry into Zimbabwe was another move to consolidate air connectivity in the region and in particular it would connect directly Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

“We believe this bilateral air connectivity between Zimbabwe and Tanzania will have magnified effects to neighbouring countries.

“However, we know for sure that Africa trades little to itself than to other continents.

“Thus Fastjet, with a commencement of direct flight, we strongly believe that it will minimise the transport stop-over, immigration desks, custom clearances and infrastructure mystery with an impact to time reduction and further to improve bilateral trade between Zimbabwe and Tanzania,” Rajabu said.

Fastjet is one of 17 carriers to fly into Zimbabwe, a move that improves the country’s accessibility and tourist arrivals.

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