African budget carrier Fastjet has won the initial green light to start services in Zimbabwe.
The airline has been granted an air service permit, described as being a “significant” step towards obtaining an Air Operating Certificate from the country’s aviation authority.
Receiving the permit means that the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Transport have approved the business plan, aircraft choice and proposed structure of the planned airline as appropriate to operate and compliant with Zimbabwe regulations, Fastjet said.
The Tanzania-based airline plans to launch Fastjet Zimbabwe in due course.
Interim chairman and chief executive Ed Winter said: "We recognised the real potential in Zimbabwe some time ago and as such have been working with the authorities both to build Fastjet Zimbabwe and obtain permission to commence operations to various domestic and international destinations from the country.
“The granting of the air service permit demonstrates the ever-increasing reputation that Fastjet has built across the region and marks a significant step forward for our business."
He added that the carrier had identified many potential routes within and from Zimbabwe “where it believes that the low cost model will stimulate the market and tap into the huge market of passengers currently travelling by bus”.
“For example there are as many as 100 buses a day travelling the 1,100km between Harare and Johannesburg at fares up to $120 return,” Winter said.
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