Thursday, October 18, 2012

FastJet introduces low-cost airline in East Africa

'Changing the Landscape of Aviation in Africa’

Flying may become cheaper with a yet to be introduced low-cost airline by FastJet, a Pan-African discount airline start-up.
FastJet backed by EasyJet Plc, the world’s second largest budget airline is first planning to start operations in Tanzania before commencing in Kenya where approval to operate is not complete.

Tanzanians are set to enjoy flying for less starting November with the deployment of Airbus A319 aircraft in Dar es Salaam after the airline received approval from Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority. However, Kenyans will have to wait for the approval as the airline seeks to set the second base in Nairobi.   

The company seeks to introduce its service at a cost of $20 (approx. Sh1700) in the competitive market, which has players backing on low-cost travel as the next frontier. 

National carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ) is also planning to introduce a budget airline, Jambo Jet. Jambo Jet will operate on both domestic and regional routes, KQs CEO, Titus Naikuni has indicated.

The airline, which aims to carry around 12 million passengers per year, will 4 flights each day with its biggest flight having a capacity of 156 passengers.
The airline is also targeting Ghana (Accra) and Angola (Luanda) as it seeks to expand.

Increased interest by international investors in East Africa’s aviation industry has been attributed to the growing middle-class and its appetite for travel in the region.    

About FastJet
FastJet Plc, which was formed in June, is majority owned Rubicon Diversified Investments which is in turn is 73 percent owned by Lonhro. Founder of British budget airline EasyJet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and EasyGroup are also among the major shareholders in FastJet.  

Lonhro has been investing in the aviation since 2005 and has a 49 percent stake in Fly540. Fly540’s existing route network in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Angola will be used by FastJet.


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