Low-cost carrier, fastjet Zimbabwe, will begin international flights to Johannesburg next month from Harare and Victoria Falls as it expands its pan-African network.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

The launch of the routes comes after fastjet Zimbabwe received clearance from the Zimbabwean and South African governments to operate flights between the two countries.

Flights on the Harare-Johannesburg route will start on February I on a daily basis with an additional daily flight expected to be made if demand increases.

Flights from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg will initially be three times a week on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays commencing on February 3.

Ed Lanca, director of flight operations at fastjet Zimbabwe yesterday said the Harare-Johannesburg route has “been the most anticipated by the travelling public for months”.

Asked whether the airline was ready for intense competition on the route, Lanca said the airline was not in the business of entering into pricing wars.

“We believe 40% of our customers are first time fliers.”

Chief pilot Joe Mparuri weighed in saying: “The low cost model is a volumes game for us.”

The low-cost carrier said it expects fastjet Zimbabwe to receive approval for additional international flights to commence from Zimbabwe to further East and Southern Africa markets within the first quarter of 2016.

The flights to South Africa will create a comprehensive fastjet Zimbabwe network of international destinations to complement its domestic routes.

“When fastjet Zimbabwe’s first flight took off just 12 weeks ago to Victoria Falls from Harare, we promised that we would make air travel more accessible than ever before, and today’s announcement is a further significant step in fulfilling that promise,” Lanca said.

Over the course of the next three years, fastjet Zimbabwe expects to invest about $15 million and employ approximately 200 people directly, with hundreds more employed in secondary services such as fuel, catering, and cleaning to support the airline.

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