New African airline takes off, eyes SA

2012-11-14 11:59

Cape Town - After much anticipation, brand new pan-African budget airline, fastjet, is finally in business.

Last week Moneyweb reported that the UK based airline had been in negotiations with the business rescue team appointed by 1time in the wake of their untimely liquidation.

Given that fastjet were negotiating a possible entry via 1time, one can safely assume the LSE-listed airline is clearly hoping to expand operations into South Africa. However, no set plans seem to be in place yet.

Up until Tuesday, fastjet's website provided visitors with general information about the company, stakeholders and management, but flight routes, costs and dates made no appearance. 

On Wednesday, however, a colourful new site, complete with an easy-to-navigate booking engine, serves as the best sort of proof that the airline is indeed a reality.

Where they fly to

fastjet currently flies from three international airports in Tanzania, covering routes between Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Kilimanjaro. Plans are also firmly in place to extend routes to Zanzibar, Entebbe in Uganda as well as Nairobi and Mombassa in Kenya in the near future.

Since 1time's operations have been suspended, there is a gap in the local market for flights to Zanzibar. This might be a good entry point for fastjet, since Tanzanian airline Precision Air's weekly flight departing on Fridays from Johannesburg is the only option for locals.


Tickets are priced in Tanzanian shilling on the site and start from about 32 000 TZS (R173). When going through the booking process, however, users should be aware of the fact that airport taxes are not included in the original price shown. All additional costs get added up right at the end of the booking, but shouldn't work out that much more expensive.

An experimental booking we put through for a return flight between Mwanza and Dar es Salaam worked out to 86 080 TZS (R472) including taxes.


The fastjet website states that their philosophy is that air travel should be simple. And they seem to be sticking to it, as tickets can be booked online, via mobile phone or through a travel agent.

Payment must be made within a reasonable time i.e. within:
48 hours of booking if travelling within a month
24 hours of booking if travelling within 4 days
6 hours of booking if travelling in less than 4 days
1 hour of booking if travelling within 24 hours


Unfortunately the airline does not offer free space in the hold for your luggage.

The hold baggage allowance is 20kg per passenger for the fee of 8000 TZS (R45) payable online or at check-in and is limited to one bag. If your bag is heavier than this, you will be charged a fee of 8000 TZS per kilogram when flying domestically (in Tanzania) or 11 000 TZS (R60) when flying internationally.

Passengers are allowed to board the aircraft with one piece of hand luggage measuring a maximum 56 x 45 x 25cm. This means one brief case, one handbag, rucksack, suit or dress carrier. There is no weight restriction but you must be able to place and retrieve the item of baggage safely in the overhead lockers.

Future plans

While fastjet is focusing on East Africa at the moment, they have ambitions to become Africa's first pan-continental, low-cost airline.

Read more on:    1time  |  travel international  |  flights

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.