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Pan-African low-cost carrier Fastjet commences operations

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Fastjet flight FTZ1A lands at Dar es Salaam International airport late on November 29, 2012.

The world’s first pan-African low-cost airline, Fastjet, has commenced commercial operations, enjoying a popular demand on its first day of flights.

“Fastjet… commenced commercial flight operations yesterday, with its first aircraft flying passengers from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, and Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania,” the carrier said in a statement on Friday.

The group carried more than 900 passengers on the eight services it flew from Tanzania on Thursday, with reservations and bookings continuing to grow.

The flights operated by Fastjet saw a 78 percent passenger load factor, which measures the number of seats filled on flights, while on three of the services 90 percent of the seats were taken.

The carrier said the large demand for seats on these two initial routes was beyond their supply and that more flights were already being considered.

“The company also intends to expand its route network regionally over the coming weeks as the fleet grows to three Airbus A319s,” it added.

The airline was established earlier this year by Stelios Haji-Ioannou – the founder of British no-frills airline easyJet – and London-listed Rubicon Diversified Investments.

Haji-Ioannou’s EasyGroup and Rubicon agreed to buy the aviation business of Africa-focused conglomerate Lonrho in June.

Fastjet uses the existing route network of Lonrho’s airline, which is currently operating as Fly540, in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Angola.

The no-frills airline is expected to tempt many first time flyers as an economical alternative to conventional bus transport.


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