fastjet lays out strategy after fine run

BUDGET carrier, fastjet on Tuesday said it was riding on a business model that extended beyond its low-cost airline tag to dominate domestic and regional networks.
The airline, which operates domestic and regional frequencies in Zimbabwe, said its strategy combined budget carrier principles and value-based fares, which resonated with its regional markets.

BY SHAME MAKOSHORI

In a statement, fastjet shared glimpses of the work that goes behind it’s operations in Zimbabwe and beyond after it was awarded the title of Africa’s Leading Low-Cost Airline at the World Travel Awards on
Monday.

“We are ecstatic with our latest win, and we extend our sincere gratitude to our customers, industry regulators, travel partners and staff for their support and encouragement,” the airline said.

“Having listened and acted on feedback from our loyal customers, we have over the years, adapted our business model, evolving to our current business model, which while still retaining low-cost principles extends inclusive value-based fares and new travel opportunities. Our fifth consecutive award, in particular during this very challenging year, reaffirms our motivation to deliver outstanding services while introducing new travel norms with a firm commitment to combatting the spread of the virus, increasing traveller confidence, as we continue to promote existing and new business and leisure travel and tourism opportunities in the markets we serve,” it
added.

The World Travel Awards acknowledges and celebrates excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries and is regarded as one of the most prestigious, comprehensive and sought-after awards in the global travel and tourism industry.

“To be voted for the fifth consecutive time as World Travel Award winner is an accolade which many strive for, and is testament to the fact that fastjet, is consistently recognised and acknowledged by its loyal customers and travel partners,” the airline added.

Following a difficult year in Zimbabwe highlighted by the grounding of flights in order to fight the spread of COVID-19, fastjet was the first airline to return to the skies together with Air Zimbabwe last month.

This was after government relaxed air travel restrictions imposed in March in a bid to kick-start tourism operations.

The airline operates frequencies between Harare and Bulawayo, Harare and Victoria Falls and Harare and Johannesburg in South Africa.

But it has generally been a difficult year for African airlines.

On Tuesday, the African Union (AU) said the COVID-19 pandemic had inflicted significant damage on the continent’s airlines and aviation authorities.

“It is projected that African airports will experience revenue loss of 51% for the year 2020 due to restrictions introduced on aviation activities, with the loss estimated at US$2,2 billion as per analysis released by Airports Council International. Revenue losses are currently estimated to be over US$8 billion for African airlines. Furthermore, liquidity challenges and fluctuations in foreign currencies have resulted in job losses to African airlines, airports and other strategic institutions and pillars that drive air transport’s contributions to the African economy,” AU noted.

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