Mtukudzi launches FastJet Bulawayo service

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Music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi serenaded passengers on the brief flight

Maiden flight ... FastJet chairman Farai Mutamangira (fourth from right) poses for a picture at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport with crew and music star Oliver Mtukudzi after the maiden flight

Maiden flight … FastJet chairman Farai Mutamangira (fourth from right) poses for a picture at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport with crew and music star Oliver Mtukudzi after the maiden flight

FASTJET announced its entry into the domestic Zimbabwean market with flights between Bulawayo and Harare on Friday.

The maiden flight on the Embraer E190 flew 40 minutes from Robert Mugabe International Airport to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport with FastJet chairman Farai Mutamangira and a group of journalists on board.

Music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi serenaded passengers on the brief flight, made possible by a decision by the Zimbabwe government to give up Air Zimbabwe’s monopoly on the domestic market.

The London Stock Exchange-listed airline entered Zimbabwe servicing the Harare-Johannesburg route, but is now flying to Victoria Falls and Bulawayo.

It operates four flights between Harare and Johannesburg, which will be the same number between Harare and Bulawayo as well as Harare-Victoria Falls.

Maiden flight … Singer Oliver Mtukudzi with journalists Walter Muchinguri (left) and Dumisani Muleya (right) at Joshua Mqabuko International airport after FastJet’s maiden flight into Bulawayo from Harare

Lauching with fares starting as low as $59 including taxes, travellers have complained it is difficult to find a seat on the airline.

Air Zimbabwe, the only airline which has been allowed to fly domestic routes since 1980, has suffered from unreliability owing to a depleted fleet and huge debts.

 

The government was forced to give FastJet the licence to fly domestic routes after realising Air Zimbabwe woefully lacked capacity.

New frontiers … A group of journalists prepare to board a FastJet service to Harare from Bulawayo on Friday afternoon

-ZimLive

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