11 July 2018
Harare: fastjet, Africa’s affordable airline for everyone, announced today that it will commence daily flights between Harare and Bulawayo from 20 July 2018. Ticket sales are already open on fastjet.com, fastjet shops and all travel agents, with a special Launch Fare starting at $59 taxes included. Fastjet will be the first affordable airline to operate the Harare Bulawayo route; the airline presently flies between Harare and Johannesburg 4 times daily, between Harare and Victoria Falls twice daily and up to 3 times a week between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg.
“Fastjet has been pursuing this route designation for several years,” says fastjet chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout. “We are delighted to see that positive changes in the Zimbabwean environment made this development possible, enabling low-fare connectivity between more domestic destinations.” Fastjet will celebrate its third year of Zimbabwean operations in October and “has invested substantially in the market with positive outcomes. While we are launching with a single frequency at present, fastjet intends to further grow the route following further consultation with stakeholders and ultimately to introduce additional aircraft to facilitate growth,” he adds.
Bulawayo being the second largest city in Zimbabwe and a strategic economic hub that services nearby mining, industrial and agricultural activity, Bezuidenhout believes that fastjet’s entry into this market will contribute positively in terms of further stimulating economic activity and growth.
The 2017 ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) study shows that aviation creates substantial up and downstream economic benefits. The air transport industry employs around 381 000 people in Africa and contributes more than $ 9 billion to the continent’s GDP. “The catalytic impact of aviation stretches this to around 6.8 million jobs and $ 72.5 billion toward GDP. On a country and city scale airlines benefit local tourism, supply chain procurement and on average the market entry of a carrier on any new route stimulates job creation of around 100-200 opportunities across various sectors.”
With the addition of the Harare Bulawayo route fastjet’s network in Zimbabwe now totals 4 destinations with more than 100 weekly flights; this makes fastjet the leading carrier in Zimbabwe. “With our affordable fares, multiple daily frequencies for business travelers, our commitment to promoting local and inbound tourism and our on-time performance of 90%, fastjet has become the airline for everyone,” says Bezuidenhout. “We look forward to continued engagement with all stakeholders in Zimbabwe to realise additional frequencies on the route as well as the development of new destinations.”
fastjet is a multi-award winning (including Skytrax World Airline Awards Best Low-Cost Airline in Africa 2017 and Leading African Low-Cost Carrier, World Travel Awards 2016 and 2017) African airline for everyone that began flight operations in Tanzania in November 2012, flying passengers from Dar es Salaam to just two domestic destinations - Kilimanjaro and Mwanza.
Today, fastjet’s route network includes Tanzanian domestic routes from its Dar es Salaam base to Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, and Mwanza, and international routes from Tanzania to Lusaka in Zambia and Harare in Zimbabwe. Fastjet began branded domestic flights in Mozambique (Operated by Solenta Aviation Mozambique) between Maputo and Beira, Nampula and Tete on 3 November 2017 and celebrated its second year of operations in Zimbabwe in 2017. The carrier operates between Harare and Bulawayo (from 20 July 2018), Harare and Victoria Falls, Harare and Dar es Salaam and from Harare and Victoria Falls to Johannesburg in South Africa. The airline has flown over 3 million passengers with an impressive aggregate on-time performance, establishing itself as a punctual, reliable, and affordable carrier.