FIVE WEEKS AND COUNTING TO FASTJET’S RE-LAUNCH OF JRO TO NBO FLIGHTS
(Posted 02nd September 2016)
Tanzania’s leading jet airline, Fastjet, has announced a return to the Kilimanjaro to Nairobi route, effective 06th of October, i.e. just five weeks from now.
The information was published together with the new winter schedule effective between 31st of October to 26th of March 2017.
This will no doubt heat up competition again between Fastjet and both Kenya Airways and Precision Air, while under revival Air Tanzania has yet to come out and let the public know which regional routes it will fly when two new Bombardier turboprop aircraft of the Q400NG type have been delivered later this month.
There is now also growing speculation, after new CEO Nico Bezuidenhout has taken office just over a month ago, where in Africa he will move the headoffice of Fastjet, which until now has been based at London’s Gatwick Airport.
Another field of open speculation is the decision coming up about the fleet of Fastjet, as Bezuidenhout himself has fueled the topic with comments of the Airbus A319 not being right sized for many of the airline’s domestic and regional routes in Eastern and Southern Africa, where the carrier has a second operating unit in Zimbabwe.
Special offers on the Dar es Salaam to Nairobi route, which include two pieces of checked baggage, have also heated up competition on this crucial revenue earner for rival Kenya Airways but has reportedly helped Fastjet to raise load factors.
In a related development has no further information come to light about the status of Fastjet Kenya’s application process for an Air Operator Certificate, in short AOC, which is the final stage of launching operations in East Africa’s largest aviation market. Here, as elsewhere, are pundits watching closely as to the aircraft type Fastjet will introduce, when the final stage of the AOC audit, focusing on flight operations, will begin.