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Low Cost Harare-Joburg Flight Launched: A Relief For Traders

Harare – Low cost carrier, Fastjet, on Monday launched its Harare to Johannesburg flight, signalling stiff competition for the hugely popul...

Harare – Low cost carrier, Fastjet, on Monday launched its Harare to Johannesburg flight, signalling stiff competition for the hugely popular route previously controlled by established airlines charging exorbitant prices.

The inaugural flight FN8102 left Harare International Airport at 06:15 and arriving at OR Tambo International at 07:55.

Speaking at an official launch ceremony at the Harare International Airport, Director of Flight Operations, Ed Lanca, said the launch of the flight had brought a new era of choice for passengers who have been forced to pay either high fares or were compelled to endure 20 hours of travel by road.
Fasjet Maiden Flight 

“Today’s flight is an important milestone in Fastjet’s route expansion and is a result of working closely with the governments and civil aviation authorities of Zimbabwe and South Africa to bring affordable, reliable, and safe and on time flights between the two countries,” he said.

Many from southern Africa, especially Zimbabweans endure grueling temperatures on makeshift buses, some of which are in deplorable state, including frequent accidents recorded on the Masvingo-Beirtbridge highway which has claimed many lives.

Lanca said they would initially fly the route once a day, with plans underway to add another daily flight as a result of consumer demand.

Certainly demand will increase with many people flocking Johannesburg for trade. And with charges as low as $80 excluding taxes, other airlines have slashed their prices by 40 percent anticipating stiff competition.
Ready For Takeoff 

“The impact of the Fastjet flights between Harare and Johannesburg has already been considerable, demonstrated by the fact that fares on competing airlines flying between the two countries have dropped by as much as 40 per cent since Fastjet announced its flights between South Africa and Zimbabwe,” Lanca said.

The airline said it would also launch another international route, flying between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg, and was expecting to get approval to fly from Zimbabwe to the Far East and elsewhere in Southern Africa.

He said they expected most of their passengers to be first-time flyers who could previously not afford the high fares charged by other airlines, adding that the introduction of the flight would also create employment.
Travelers Welcome Faslet Launch 

“Making it easier for more entrepreneurs, traders, tourists and other visitors to travel between Zimbabwe and South Africa will strengthen the countries’ relationship, boost tourism and business sectors, create jobs and contribute significantly to both countries’ economic growth,” Lanca noted.

Wholesale traders, Lanca said, would be able to purchase wholesale produce in South Africa and transport them back as they would be allowed up to 80 kilograms of baggage under the Freighty Luggage option.

This service is likely to be popular, especially with cross boarder traders frequenting the route. - Online

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