After clearing all regulatory requirements for the issue of an air operator certificate, in short AOC, for their soon-to-be-launched new operation in Zambia, Fastjet yesterday put pen to paper to acquire their sixth such aircraft. The new bird is due for delivery at the end of September and will, according to information received from the airline, be immediately deployed to Lusaka in preparation of the formal launch of Fastjet Zambia.
The airline has over the past two months already added a fourth and fifth Airbus A319 to their fleet, one of these aircraft to boost capacity out of Dar es Salaam and the other one due for deployment to Zimbabwe, where Fastjet is also in the final stages of launching operations. This latest development has effectively doubled the fleet size from a year ago from three to six aircraft.
Said the airline’s CEO Ed Winter when making the announcement: ‘Following our recent announcement of the fourth and fifth aircraft joining our fleet, the addition of this owned Aircraft by the end of September will see the fleet double in size. Each additional aircraft is able to make up to 1,000 more seats per day available to Fastjet’s customers. Based on the 75% load factors currently being projected by Fastjet, each aircraft in the fleet is projected to carry approximately 275,000 passengers per annum. Our successful fundraising in April 2015 was, in part, to fund the acquisition of aircraft. We conducted an extensive review of available aircraft and I am delighted to announce this milestone event’.
Presently does the Fastjet fly out of Dar es Salaam, serving Kilimanjaro, Mwanza and Mbeya while continental flights extend to Entebbe – thrice a week – but also to Lusaka and Harare, both destinations now being combined and served daily while Johannesburg has also seen the number of flights raised to 7 a week.
Kenyans however continue to be shortchanged by their Civil Aviation Authority which has so far refused to grant Fastjet PLC an air service license to start the process of setting up a low cost airline based in Nairobi and has even blocked Fastjet Tanzania’s application for landing rights despite holding a designation from the Tanzanian CAA, a festering sore in the chapter of East African Community cooperation and a damning indictment of Kenya’s dubious aviation policy. Watch this space to be the first to know when Fastjet will launch operations in Zambia and in Zimbabwe.