Fastjet expands flights overseas with new Johannesburg route

Michael Bow
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FASTJET, the budget African airline backed by EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, yesterday announced long-awaited plans to charter its first international flight service.

The London-listed company will start offering flights from Tanzania to South Africa, nearly a year after the company first got off the ground with internal flights in Tanzania to top tourist spots like Kilimanjaro.

The service, running on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, had been scheduled to start last month but was held up by administrative delays in South Africa.

The first flight takes off on Friday from Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport and lands at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. It costs about $200 return excluding tax.

Fastjet boss Ed Winter said: “Until now, flying between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg has been prohibitively expensive for many people.

“The launch of this service offers a new, affordable and reliable option to both Tanzanians and South Africans.”

Fastjet was formed in 2012 and is listed on the junior stock market. It fell slightly in trading yesterday as investors digested the news.

Sir Stelios owns about six per cent of Fastjet. It is his second involvement in an airline venture having formed the EasyJet airline in 1995. Fastjet aims to emulate EasyJet’s success in Europe by eventually offering pan-continental travel across Africa.