WORLD ROUTES: fastjet Ready for International Debut

African low-cost carrier, fastjet, will commence international flights this week, three weeks later than originally planned after an eleventh hour administrative request from the South African Department of Transport for additional documentation caused the cancellation of the airline’s planned launch to of flights between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg on September 27, 2013. 

Speaking exclusively to The HUB at World Routes, Richard Bodin, chief commercial officer, fastjet, confirmed it had been a frustrating past few weeks and although the carrier had delivered these documents without delay, the South African Department of Transport took some time to process them, due partly to a weekend and subsequent public holidays. 

“This postponement was very disappointing. Unfortunately however, administrative delays of this nature are not unusual in the markets in which we operate,” he said.

The South African Department of Transport has now completed its review of the additional documents it requested and issued an updated Foreign Operator Permit.  Fastjet will now launch flights between Dar es Salaam's Julius Nyerere International Airport in Tanzania and Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport in South Africa on the morning of October 18, 2013. 

These flights will operate on a three times weekly basis but fastjet says it intends to increase the frequency of flights in line with market demand.  South African Airways (SAA) currently has a monopoly on the route, a market of around 96,000 bi-directional O&D passengers in 2012.

"We are, of course, delighted to have finally been seen to comply with the requirements of the South African authorities. The well-publicised delay has been frustrating for all of us at fastjet, and far more so for our loyal passengers. We can only thank those passengers for their patience and for all the messages of support that we have received and those posted online,” Bodin told The HUB.

“We are now looking forward to our first flight from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg on Friday 18th October and growing the route substantially.  fastjet flights linking these vibrant and commercially dynamic cities will be a great success," he added.