Fastjet has announced that it will reintroduce direct flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls from 31 July 2017 as well as bulk up its routes between Harare and Victoria Falls with daily and, at times, twice daily frequencies. The carriers recent increase between Harare and Johannesburg will be supported with a fourth flight between the cities on peak-demand days.
The growth represents a doubling of current capacity in the Zimbabwean market with an additional Embraer E145 aircraft deployed on the routes. Fastjet will now operate more than 78 flights weekly on its Zimbabwean routes. Fastjet’s on-time performance permanently hovers around the 90% mark and the airline was recently recognised by Skytrax as the Best Low-Cost Airline in Africa.
The reintroduction of direct flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls will make access to one of southern Africa’s most popular attractions more affordable. “We expect passenger volumes to include international connecting tourists as well as a considerable number of South African travellers whose geographic proximity makes weekend breaks and longer-term vacations an attractive and affordable leisure option,” says Hein Kaiser, fastjet’s spokesperson.
Answering growing demand
In addition, high demand prompted Fastjet to increase its frequencies between Harare and Victoria Falls to a daily service with, during peak weekly cycles, double daily frequencies. “This represents a near 50% increase in flights from the capital with demand soaring beyond traditionally limiting seasonal boundaries,” says Kaiser who adds that Fasjet’s introduction of additional capacity answers this growing demand. Along with the reintroduction of flights between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg, the bulked-up operating schedule is on sale and the first flights launch on 31 July 2017.
“Fastjet also recently announced positive movement on its route between Harare and Johannesburg when up to three daily flights were introduced. However, demand over the past month has shown that on peak-demand days there is the opportunity to introduce a fourth flight,” continues Kaiser. The new schedule between Harare and Johannesburg also commences operations on 31 July 2017.
Fastjet now operates three international routes to and from Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls to Johannesburg, Harare to Johannesburg and Harare to Dar es Salaam). The Johannesburg-Victoria Falls route was suspended temporarily in January this year during Fastjet’s Stabilisation Plan implementation which saw the business implement fleet and network changes, amongst others, to right-size it for the markets wherein it operates.