fastjet gets off to a flying start

African low-cost airline fastjet carried more than 900 paying passengers of its first day of commercial flight operations yesterday, achieving an average booked load factor (a measure of how full planes are) each of 78 per cent.

African low-cost airline fastjet carried more than 900 paying passengers of its first day of commercial flight operations yesterday, achieving an average booked load factor (a measure of how full planes are) each of 78 per cent.

The company said that future demand for seats on the two initial routes - from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, and Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania - is currently "far outstripping supply".

As such, additional flights to these destinations are already being considered and fastjet wants to expand its network regional over the coming weeks as the fleet grows to three Airbus A319s.

"fastjet is delighted to see how the people of Tanzania are embracing the Low Cost Carrier model. Yesterday was a huge success and a great way to start operations," said Chief Executive Ed Winter.

"We are pleased to see reservations and bookings continuing to grow. The demand for this type of air travel has far exceeded the company's expectations. Yesterday's passengers ranged from business people through to many first time flyers who were using fastjet as an economic alternative to conventional bus transport. Clearly, as predicted, our low cost model is stimulating a whole new market of people to fly."

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