Fastjet looks to Nigeria

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According to punchng.com, fastjet, the budget airline backed by easyJet’s founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nigeria’s Red 1 Airways, for low-cost flights in Nigeria and other African destinations. The airline will be branded fastjet Nigeria, and the capital will be put up by Red 1. Fastjet plans to take a minority shareholding in fastjet Nigeria.

This comes off the back of news that fastjet is putting a hold on its operation in South Africa. According to bdlive, fastjet failed to pay a deposit in time to secure the Boeing 737-300 it had planned to use on its Cape Town-Johannesburg route. It has been trying to get up and running in SA since December, when it made an unsuccessful bid for 1time. Fastjet subsequently entered into an agreement with Federal Air, but after Comair, which operates British Airways and Kulula in South Africa, raised concerns, the South African Civil Aviation Authority agreed to look into the matter, and has yet to make a decision.

Fastjet has, however, been granted permission to launch international flights from Tanzania to South Africa, Zambia and Rwanda. Early bookings on the Dar es Salaam-Johannesburg route (currently only serviced by SAA) will offer a special fare – possibly as low as $100 (one way, excluding government taxes and charges) to and from Johannesburg. A launch date hasn’t been decided.