Posted on: 27 July 2015 by Ross McSweeny
fastjet has begun operating its sixth international route in Africa with twice-weekly flights between Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Lilongwe in Malawi.
The Dar es Salaam–Lilongwe flights will initially operate on Mondays and Fridays using the airline’s Airbus A319 aircraft with seating for up to 156 passengers, but fastjet Tanzania expects to add more capacity as demand on the route increases.
The journey by road between the two cities takes at least 21 hours, including travelling 1,520 km around Lake Malawi. By offering low fares, fastjet Tanzania expects many of its passengers using this service to be first time flyers. In December 2014, the airline conducted research which proved 35% of its passengers hadn’t flown by air before.
“Until now, it has been prohibitively expensive to fly between Lilongwe and Dar es Salaam,” stated Jimmy Kibati, fastjet Tanzania’s general manager for East Africa. “We believe that affordable fares on a direct route between the two cities will make it possible for more people in Malawi and Tanzania to experience the safety and convenience of air travel. We have worked closely with the governments of these two magnificent countries to establish this route, as we all agree that it will strengthen the trade, tourism and business sectors.”
fastjet will be offering its ‘Freighty’ luggage option that allows passengers to transport up to 80 kg of checked bags on the route, as well as its ‘Smart Class’ fares, which include pre-booked premium seat selection, increased baggage allowance of 32 kg and the ability to change flight dates.
“We expect Freighty to be popular with traders flying to purchase wholesale produce internationally to transport back to their home markets for resale, as fastjet’s low fares support their businesses by reducing their overall procurement costs,” continued Kibati. “Low-cost air travel stimulates economies in a number of ways, and we’re excited to contribute to economic growth in the countries we operate in.”