Fastjet launches new routes

HARARE - Zimbabwe's low-cost airline, Fastjet, has been granted permission to operate new flights on Harare-Victoria Falls and Harare-Johannesburg routes.

Industry experts say the launch of these popular and currently underserved routes is a significant step forward for the budget airline.

Flights between Harare and Johannesburg will operate daily and flights on the Victoria Falls to Johannesburg route will initially operate three times a week, with fares starting from $80 — plus government taxes — considerably lower than prices offered by carriers currently serving the route.

Tickets go on sale this week, and flights from Harare will commence on February 1, 2016.

Fastjet also has approval for a second daily flight between Harare and Johannesburg — this will be introduced as market demand grows.

“In launching these flights, Fastjet Zimbabwe is establishing itself as a key player in the market, Fastjet Plc chief executive Ed Winter said.

Fastjet expects to receive additional international route approvals in the first quarter of 2016 which, when added to the key Johannesburg routes announced yesterday, will create a substantial market for the local budget airline.

“There is clearly significant demand for affordable travel between Harare and Johannesburg. Up to 100 buses a day travel between the two cities, a journey which can take as long as 24 hours.

“Similarly, the 1 300 kilometres road journey from Johannesburg to the World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls, one of the biggest tourist attractions in southern Africa, can take as long as two days with border crossings. Fastjet flights will take just one hour and forty minutes,” he said.

“As we have seen in other markets, we expect many passengers currently undertaking the journey by bus to switch to flying, taking advantage of fastjet’s low fares and safe and reliable flights.

“There are significant historical, commercial and political links between the two countries, and it is estimated that more than 3 million Zimbabweans now live in South Africa. Fastjet Zimbabwe is now well-placed to capitalise on the opportunities that this market offers,” Winter added.

Fastjet Plc is the holding company of the low-cost airline Fastjet which commenced flights under the Fastjet brand in Tanzania in November 2012.

Fastjet Zimbabwe was successfully launched in October 2015.

By adhering to international standards of safety, quality, security and reliability — Fastjet has brought a new flying experience to the African market at unprecedented low prices.

Utilising its fleet of Airbus A319s, Fastjet is implementing the low-cost model across Africa and its long-term strategy is to become the continent’s first low-cost, pan-African airline.

 

Comments (3)

What will be the normal fare to from Harare to Johannesburg as well as the promotional fare

Kambiri - 19 January 2016

How about a flight daily from Bulawayo to Harare return which route is currently poorly serviced by struggling Air Zimbabwe

T N Sibanda - 20 January 2016

I say well done FastJet. You continue to prove yourself. There is business in the business of air-transporting people. Now please start flying Harare-Nairobi route to challenge those Kenya Airways thieves. Sorry, there is no other way to describe their monopoly. They charge as they wish. Otherwise you go SAA via Johannesburg or ET via Addis. And you know the inconvenience. Last Christmas I checked for economy return to Nairobi. It was a whooping $800. A week later I paid $1'300! Same flight, only that I delayed booking. And they know very well you have nowhere to turn to. The ticket Harare-Dubai-Toronto-Dubai-Harare with a superb hotel being provided for the night on return flight by EK is $!'500. Give me the rationale in that. That Nairobi return should not be more than $500, especially when they use the very cost-effective Embrier 190. Trust me they will drop their charges the very day FastJet and Air Zimbabwe, bless their soul, decide to join in. There must be really good business flying between Nairobi and Harare. Why else would KQ be flying two or three daily flights. I know they will tell us most people connect to Europe. My foot. People are not stupid. They will be innovative, like they will check how much it will cost them flying to Europe out of Nairobi and will buy separate ticket to Nairobi via FastJet. It's because KQ takes us for granted, that we are stupid, gullible and therefore exploitable that they are taking us for this expensive ride. And the aviation authorities in Zimbabwe just sit there and twiddle their thumbs. I say go for it FastJet. JG

James Ganya - 21 January 2016

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