African low-cost carrier Fastjet is to start serving the island of Zanzibar in the new year with daily flights from its Dar es Salaam base in Tanzania.
Tickets have gone on sale for the new route which will run via Johannesburg from January.
Plans for the service emerged as the airline reported a 0.5% decline in passenger carryings in November to 62,843 with a reduced load factor of 60% over the same month last year.
This was primarily due to the prolonged effect of the presidential election in Tanzania, which has yet to result in a cabinet being appointed or a budget being agreed.
“This has reduced demand from governmental and civil service traffic, and had an adverse effect on travel more widely in the country,” the airline said.
Severe weather in November led to a slight reduction in punctuality, with 84% of Fastjet Tanzania flights arriving on time.
However, all of the carrier’s Zimbabwe flights arrived on time, in its first month of operation.
Chief executive, Ed Winter, said: "Whilst we remain mindful of the temporary reduction in demand in Tanzania, we expect that this will improve in the new year when the political environment stabilises.
"We are delighted that Fastjet Zimbabwe has been well received in its first month of operation. Passenger feedback has been positive and we look forward to expanding that network.
"The exciting launch of a new route between Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg and Zanzibar links the stunning island with two thriving commercial centres.
“Zanzibar, a year-round holiday destination, has recently enjoyed increased popularity, especially in South Africa. We expect to attract new passengers to Fastjet in both Tanzania and South Africa with our affordable fares and reliable air services."
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