Fastjet’s low cost airline set to enter East Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

The operation of the low-cost line is subject to the regulators’ approval.

“In Kenya we hope to start flying by June once we get approval of our licence,” Jimmy Kibati, general manager East Africa told CNBC Africa.

(READ MORE: Africa’s low-cost airline revolution)

“The whole concept of low cost is that you unbundle the fare and you deploy your fleet in low cost airports.”

Kibati said the company was going to restructure its operations so as to meet its costs while acknowledging that operating a low-cost airline was not easy.

“We will focus on ancillary revenue like charging passengers for services they need such in-flight meals and baggage check-ins,” added Kibati.

“We will also focus on outsourcing a lot of services so that we can meet our headcount and also focus on non-ticket services.”

Kibati said one of the major changes that have positively affected the low-cost sector is the growing economy compared to yester-year in Africa.

“There is a lot of foreign direct investment which means there is a lot of disposable income and our people are now more mobile than before,” he said.

“The industry is growing together with the middle class as people are now using airlines even to visit friends.”

(READ MORE: Low-cost airlines to benefit from economic crisis)

Kibati said the company’s operation in Tanzania has been a success with the group registering profits last December.

“We have carried a million passengers in two years which means the vision and goals we had were a success. We managed to carry at least 38 per cent of first time travellers which means we made flying cheap, accessible and affordable,” he said.

He added that the expansion of Fastjet Tanzania continues as the airline now flies out of Dar salaam to seven destinations adding that he was expecting to expand flights into Kenya from Tanzania.