fastjet Zim receives operating certificate
fastjet Zimbabwe, the new low-cost Zimbabwean airline, has received its Air Operating Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), meaning that formal approval has been secured from all levels of Government for fastjet Zimbabwe flights to commence. The new airline has announced that its first route will link Harare and Victoria Falls, and will initially operate three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
The route will use fastjet Zimbabwe’s modern Airbus A319 jet aircraft, with seating for up to 144 passengers, and the first flight will take off on October 28 2015. To celebrate its launch, fastjet Zimbabwe has announced that all fares for flights in October and November 2015 will be at its cheapest domestic fare of $20 one-way. This excludes airport and Government taxes of $18, which bring the total for an inclusive one-way fare to $38.
Flights will depart from Harare at 3.00pm, and land at Victoria Falls at 4.00pm, with a flight time of one hour. The return flight departs Victoria Falls at 4.30pm, landing in Harare at 5.30pm.
fastjet Zimbabwe expects to add more flights to Victoria Falls as demand for its safe, quick, affordable and on-time service increases. The airline also plans to expand rapidly locally and across Africa, creating a comprehensive network of international destinations to complement its domestic routes within Zimbabwe.
“With our low-cost fares, fastjet Zimbabwe’s aim is to make air travel more accessible than ever before, with many of our passengers expected to be first time flyers who would otherwise not have been able to afford to travel by air,” said Ed Lanca, director of Flight Operations at fastjet Zimbabwe.
The airline initially intends establishing international routes to South Africa, Kenya, and Zambia, offering Zimbabwean citizens and visitors greater choice and affordability when they are travelling for business or pleasure.
fastjet Zimbabwe recently concluded a very successful recruitment drive in Harare providing employment opportunities for Zimbabweans, including pilots, cabin crew, sales and customer support staff. The airline expects to employ a similar number of staff as it has for three-year-old fastjet Tanzania, which now employs nearly 200 people directly, with hundreds more working in secondary services supporting it.
fastjet’s first airline in Africa, fastjet Tanzania, has already flown more than 1,6 million people since it was launched in 2012, and recent research showed that 35 percent of the airline’s passengers were first-time flyers, proof that fastjet is empowering more people to enjoy the benefits of affordable air travel.
“Affordable air travel is key to Zimbabwe’s economic growth, particularly in the business and tourism sectors, and fastjet Zimbabwe, a Zimbabwean-registered company with a local board of directors, has worked closely with Government and civil aviation stakeholders to bring low-cost air travel to Zimbabwe for this very reason,” said Mr Lanca.
fastjet Zimbabwe emphasised that it would continue to work closely with the Zimbabwean Government in its ongoing investment plans, collaborating with all parties concerned to build an airline that would create jobs and grow the aviation sector in the country.
“Very simply, fastjet Zimbabwe’s goal is to make it possible for more Zimbabweans to fly, whether it be for business, visits to their friends and family, or enjoying leisure travel,” said Mr Lanca.