Fastjet, a pan-African low-cost airline, has entered into an agreement with Emirates that provides customers of the Dubai-based carrier access to Fastjet’s growing route network across Eastern and Southern Africa. Emirates passengers will be able to book Fastjet flights on all of Emirates’ sales channels.

Emirates flies to 20 destinations in Africa, while Fastjet is rapidly expanding on the continent. The airline currently flies from four airports in Tanzania, covering routes between Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kilimanjaro and Mbeya. The airline also flies internationally, from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg, South Africa; Lusaka, Zambia; Harare, Zimbabwe; Entebbe, Uganda; and Lilongwe, Malawi.

The airline recently launched Fastjet Zimbabwe, which will be based in Harare. The airline will start thrice-weekly operations between that capital city and Victoria Falls on Oct. 28, deploying an Airbus A319 with seating for up to 144 passengers.

Fasjtet has ambitious plans to set up operations in Zambia before the end of the year, as well. The launch of a Zambian base was anticipated for November, but the Air Operator Certificate process in Zambia has been delayed as the Zambia Civil Aviation Authority had to externally source Airbus-qualified personnel to assist with the Fastjet Zambia AOC application. 

However, Fastjet is confident it will be able to launch flights before year’s end. Says Ed Winter, Fastjet CEO: "In Q3 2015, we have doubled the size of the fleet to six and are well on our way to having three bases — Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe — fully operational by the end of the year. This expansion of the fleet and network is particularly important in laying the foundations for profitable growth in 2016.”

The airline is planning to set up bases in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa for 2016, as well.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI