FastJet to establish Dar es Salaam as first base

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FastJet, the Pan-African low-cost carrier by EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, announced that it will establish its first operating base in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The airline will begin operations in November, although it has yet to announce the routes it plans to operate.

Its first aircraft, an Airbus A319 on operating lease from BBAM, will be delivered to the airline in October. The aircraft, MSN 2176, will be a former EasyJet aircraft.

"Our initial focus will be on east Africa with the airline's first base at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where the A319 aircraft has already been approved by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority," FastJet chief executive Ed Winter said in statement.

"This will be followed by a second base in Nairobi, Kenya, once the A319 is approved there. We look forward to bringing a great, reliable and affordable service to the people of east Africa."

The airline also plans to launch its operations in Accra and Luanda once it has established itself in east Africa.

FastJet will initially operate alongside Fly540, a Nairobi-based airline acquired in July by Rubicon, an investment firm linked to Haji-Ioannou. It plans to use the airline as a springboard into both east and west Africa, with the Fly540 brand and its fleet of ATR 72-500s, Bombardier Dash 8s and CRJ100s aircraft to be phased out.