FASTJET, Africa’s low-cost airline, will launch its first international route to Lusaka, Zambia from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on February 1, 2014.
The airline is currently discussing with Government to build Zambia as the next Fastjet base that will see linking a number of domestic
destinations including Livingstone.
Fastjet chief commercial officer Richard Bodin said the flights on the new route would operate twice a week, with fares starting as low as K450 excluding taxes, lower than fares from operators currently offering flights between the two cities.
Mr Bodin said Zambia was a strong commercial-driven country with a lot of opportunities and the airline was keen to grow the destination mix into Lusaka.
The onerous 25-hour cross border journey being undertaken by both Zambians and Tanzanians by road demonstrates a real need for
affordable air travel between the two countries, which Fastjet intends to fulfill by launching its flight next month.
Addressing journalists in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Bodin said it was the first true pan-African low cost carrier and achieved remarkable success in Tanzania saying that the airline had so far carried a total of 420,000 passengers in its first year of operation.
He said Fastjet flies airbus 319 aircrafts and carries up to 156 passengers with 98 per cent flights departing on time.
Times of Zambia
“The key cornerstone to Fastject success so far has been the safety. We fly to European standards of safety, security and reliability that is the reason why we have been able to achieve the 98 per cent liability factor.
“Discussions are ongoing and we are hopeful we can come to some sort of agreement with the Government and it will be great to have Fastjet based here in Lusaka and linking lots of domestic destinations including Livingstone as well as international destinations such as Johannesburg, Harare and Lilongwe,” he said.
He said for domestic flights in Zambia, the fares would be around $20 one way, thereby making traveling by air cheaper than by a car or bus.