Pan-African low cost carrier Fastjet (which operates under the brand fastjet) is continuing its programme of optimising its services, routes, and fleet, it reported on Monday. The aim is to restore its financial health, ensure it becomes a sustainable going concern, and thereafter achieve consistent profitability.
“As a pan-African value airline fastjet endeavours to make air travel affordable and accessible in every market we service,” affirmed company CEO Nico Bezuidenhout. “Beyond the redevelopment of our product, fastjet is also presently working on wider distribution and more payment methods, growing our network and making it easier for everyone to do business with us.”
“Later this year fastjet plans to launch additional routes in both Tanzania and Mozambique, with South Africa, as a new market, firmly on our radar,” he highlighted. These will be in addition to the recently inaugurated flights between Harare and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe (daily), between Maputo and Beira in Mozambique (double daily) and an additional flight between Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Harare (on Wednesdays).
A passenger service refinement introduced on Monday is that the price of a ticket now includes the first piece of checked-in luggage and a snack or “refreshment” onboard the aircraft. Previously, these were charged separately. This decision was the result of market trend and customer expectation research, carried out over several months.
“We have listened to our customers and redeveloped our product to better match what travellers on our network expect from a value airline,” he stated. The new fare replaced the previous BigSaver and Achiever fares, and will be available on both the current routes and the planned new routes.
Part of the carrier’s stabilisation plan has been the ending of services on loss-making routes. Another has been the “right-sizing” of its fleet. The previously operated fleet of three 145-seat Airbus A319 jet airliners has now been replaced by two 104-seat Embraer E190 regional jet airliners. Furthermore, three 70-seat ATR 72 twin turboprop airliners are being introduced into service. In Mozambique, Solenta Aviation operates fastjet-branded services using three 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 jets.