Posted on: 28 October 2015 by Mark Howells
The completion of an inaugural flight between Harare and Victoria Falls has marked the launch of fastjet Zimbabwe.
The carrier’s first flight departed Harare International Airport with dignitaries, government officials, media and local passengers onboard and was honoured upon arrival at Victoria Falls International Airport by a traditional water cannon salute. The return flight landed in Harare to an official launch ceremony where Joram Gumbo, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, was the guest of honour.
“fastjet Zimbabwe is a Zimbabwean airline established for the benefit of the country’s citizens,” remarked Gumbo. “It is a long-term strategic investment in the future of our economy, in the future of our tourism industry, and in the ability of all Zimbabweans to travel by air domestically and internationally, both for business and leisure, at an affordable and fair price.”
Ed Lanca, fastjet Zimbabwe’s director of flight operations, stated, “Very simply, our goal is to offer affordable air fares that empower more Zimbabweans to fly, whether it is for business, tourism or for visiting their family and friends. fastjet Zimbabwe wants to bring Africa to Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe to Africa. Affordable air travel is key to Zimbabwe’s economic growth, particularly in the business and tourism sectors. We have worked closely with government and civil aviation stakeholders to bring low-fare air travel to Zimbabwe for this very reason.”
The airline plans to expand rapidly both locally and across the African continent, creating a comprehensive network of international destinations to complement its domestic routes within Zimbabwe. International destinations that fastjet Zimbabwe wishes to establish from Harare include South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Botswana and Malawi.
“fastjet Zimbabwe will introduce more choice into international air travel from Zimbabwe, breaking down the monopolies that exist on certain routes, and introducing better flights and cheaper fares that will no longer mean the majority of Zimbabweans are excluded from enjoying the convenience and timesaving benefits of airline travel,” Lanca continued.
Over the course of the next three years, fastjet Zimbabwe expects to invest in the region of $15million and employ approximately 200 people directly, with hundreds more employed in secondary services such as fuel, catering, and cleaning supporting the airline.