Fastjet, Africa’s low-cost airline opens Lilongwe to Dar es Salaam route this week
Fastjet, Africa’s low-cost airline operating in Malawi, but based in Tanzania, has said it will start its Lilongwe to Dar es Salaam route this Monday.
Using Fastjet’s modern Airbus A319 aircraft with a seating capacity of 148 passengers, services between Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe will initially operate twice a week on Mondays and Fridays, according to the airline’s local representatives.
“Fastjet will launch services with our maiden flight to Malawi touching down at Kamuzu International Airport at 10:20 on Monday July 27 2015. We have been encouraged by the great support from the local market for the route,” said Rob McConaghy of Ulendo Travel Group, the airline’s commercial representatives in Malawi.
He said the introduction of the flights is a result of Malawi Government’s issuance of a foreign air operators certificate to Fastjet on June 23 2015, which also approved the Lilongwe to Dar es Salaam route.
“With the imminent introduction of additional aircraft to the Fastjet fleet, additional services may be introduced should the Malawi market demand require extra frequencies and services.
“The government of Malawi has not ruled out operations to include Blantyre and Fastjet is engaging in discussions with the Malawi Civil Aviation authorities to ascertain the viability of possible services to cater for travellers from the Southern Region while taking into consideration any operational constraints that may exist with services to Chileka Airport,” said McConaghy.
A one-way fare between Lilongwe and Dar es Salaam costs K42 000 ($84) with add-on fares available from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro or Entebbe in Uganda.
“Passengers who are not accustomed to the low-cost carrier model should be made aware that they need to pay for luggage in addition to the fare quoted,” he said.
Fastjet started operating domestic services from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro, Mbeya and Mwanza for the Tanzanian market.
“The collection of destinations has grown to include Entebbe [Uganda], Lusaka [Zambia], Harare [Zimbabwe] and Johannesburg [South Africa], all of which have been enormously successful and Malawi was a logical addition to the network based on long-standing trade relations between Malawi and Tanzania as well as the increasing demand for holiday travel within the region,” said McConaghy.
He said the concept behind Fastjet is to break away from the traditional airline model and introduce reliable and modern low-cost carrier to the African market.
The airline is at an advanced stage of securing an operator’s permit for Zimbabwe and is expected to announce additional routes soon.
Fastjet is a Tanzanian registered airline which has been operating since November 2012 and last year alone, it carried over 65 000 passengers.