African low-cost carrier fastjet is to introduce a new domestic link to its Tanzanian flight network from November 1, 2013 with the introduction of a three times weekly link between its Dar es Salaam base and the newly-developed Songwe airport, which not only serves the city of Mbeya, but also the densely populated cross-border regions of northern Zambia and Malawi.
This initial schedule can be viewed as the budget carrier dipping its toes into the water in an unknown market and it suggests it could rapidly increase frequency if the link mirrors the success of its successful existing domestic routes.
“We have been inundated with requests from passengers for fastjet to operate a service on this route, and are extremely pleased to be launching services next month, building on the success of our existing Tanzanian operation,” said Ed Winter, chief executive officer, fastjet. “The Government of Tanzania has invested a considerable sum to develop this brand new airport and the regeneration of its infrastructure is due to be completed this month, allowing us to commence flights on November 1."
The airline continues to prove the strong opportunity for low-cost operations in Africa with another strong month of trading in August 2013, continuing a trend of month-on-month revenue increases. According to company data, passenger revenue for the month of August 2013 was over $2.7 million, representing a revenue increase of over five per cent against the previous month and a $0.9 million (51 per cent) increase since May 2013.
The figures can be attributed to a strong performance in passenger volumes with an 84 per cent load factor and a record 33,000 passengers in the month. Ancillary revenues remained strong, representing seven per cent of total passenger revenue.
"Operational statistics for August show continued growth, demonstrating the strength of our brand and the support we are receiving from the Tanzanian population. So far we have carried 260,000 passengers within Tanzania and with a total population of 48 million there are plenty more customers who can benefit from our services,” added Winter.