Lodge Blog Archive
A diary of happenings at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone, Zambia with reflections on Zambia and personal matters too
Easy Jet is set to launch a new low cost carrier under the name “Fast Jet” and base it in Africa following a deal between the owner of existing carrier, Fly540 and British owned investment firm, Rubicon. EasyJet's founder Sir Stelios HajiIoannou will launch a low cost airline in Africa this year. The carrier will be based on the platform created by Lonrho Aviation’s Fly540 network. The new carrier aims to transform the Nairobi based Fly540 into a no frills, all jet low cost carrier for Africa.
Fastjet, will operate from Kenya, Angola, Ghana, and Tanzania. Fly540 recorded turnover of $57 million and carried 525,375 passengers last year. Fast Jet hopes to reinvent the low cost carrier model for Africa, with ticket prices starting from around US$20. The company hopes to target Africa’s growing middle class with average fares of around 70-80 US $ on flights between fast growing cities such as Nairobi in Kenya and Angola's Luanda. Africa lacks a decent cheap and efficient aviation network with an average 0.03 journeys per head per year, compared to 1.5 to 2 air journeys per head in the West. There’s a shortage of direct point to point flights within Africa. It’s difficult to get from capital city to capital city especially in West Africa. The new carrier aims to carry more than 12 million passengers a year because of demand from the growing African middleclass for regional travel.
There will be significant difference will be in the way the low cost carrier model to will be transplanted to Africa. In Europe, almost all tickets are sold online. However, in Fast Jet’s African market, internet access can be as low as 20%. Fastjet tickets will therefore be distributed via travel agents, GDSs and some walk-up ticket sales. Passengers will also be able to buy tickets using credits through mobile phone.