fastjet Zimbabwe, the planned new low-cost airline, welcomed hundreds of Zimbabwean job-seekers at its first official recruitment drive on Sunday, 17 May 2015 at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare.
Applicants interested in joining fastjet could apply for pilot, cabin crew, ground operation staff, operations and dispatch supervisor positions.
“We were highly impressed with the calibre of applicants interested in coming to work for our new airline,” said Richard Bodin, fastjet’s Chief Commercial Officer. “We are looking forward to working with the people of Zimbabwe to build a reputation for fastjet Zimbabwe as a friendly, customer-focused airline that offers an affordable and reliable service to its passengers.”
The new airline expects to employ similar a level of staff as it has for fastjet Tanzania, which after two years, employs nearly 200 people directly and hundreds more working in secondary services supporting it.
The recruitment drive comes after the Zimbabwean Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, which administers the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, granted the company an Air Service Permit (ASP) in March 2015. This ASP paved the way for the airline to continue its plans to establish a majority locally-owned, low-cost airline that will give Zimbabweans the freedom to fly between major towns within the country and to cities abroad, at affordable fares.
The fastjet Zimbabwe team is now focused on submitting the remaining necessary documents to complete the application process for an Air Operating Certificate (AOC). Once this certificate has been issued, fastjet Zimbabwe will have formal approval to commence flights.
Key domestic routes that could be initially served by fastjet Zimbabwe from Harare are Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, making it possible for Zimbabweans and international visitors to travel the country at affordable fares.
fastjet Zimbabwe also intends establishing international routes initially from Harare to Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa, Nairobi in Kenya, and Lusaka in Zambia. These will offer Zimbabwean citizens and visitors greater choice to pursue commercial and tourism opportunities due to affordable international flights to and from Zimbabwe.
One way domestic fares on fastjet Zimbabwe will start from US$20 and one way international flights will cost as little as US$50 for early bookings, excluding airport and government taxes. These affordable fares are similar to those offered by fastjet in Tanzania and have resulted in the airline being named the cheapest low-cost carrier in Africa by flight comparison site, WhichAirline.com. The earlier passengers book, the lower their fare.
These affordable fares will be available through www.fastjet.com/zw, carefully selected travel agents, as well as fastjet call centres and sales offices.
“We have worked closely with the Zimbabwean government in our investment plans to establish fastjet Zimbabwe, collaborating with all parties concerned to build a new airline that will create jobs and grow the aviation sector in the country,” said Bodin. “fastjet Zimbabwe will also make it easier for the people of Zimbabwe and its neighbours to do business, visit their friends and family, or enjoy leisure travel.”
fastjet Zimbabwe is a Zimbabwean registered company. It has a local board of directors who provide the necessary support and guidance to ensure compliance with the Zimbabwe regulatory framework and good corporate governance practices. The airline will pay all required taxes to the Zimbabwe government, as well as all necessary fees to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.
fastjet is an airline brand already familiar to Zimbabweans with fastjet Tanzania launching flights to Zimbabwe from Dar es Salaam in August 2014. It initially flew passengers twice a week between Harare International Airport and Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport, using fastjet’s modern Airbus A319 jet aircraft with seating for 156 passengers.
The airline quickly doubled frequency on the Harare – Dar es Salaam route by adding a third and fourth weekly flight between the two cities in response to passenger demand, and now flies on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
“Affordable air travel is key to the growth of economies across Africa – including Zimbabwe – and particularly in the business and tourism sectors,” Bodin said. “Our low-cost strategy is to make air travel more accessible to more people to grow the aviation market, and make it possible for more Zimbabweans to experience air travel.”
Supporting this belief is the research undertaken by the airline in 2014, which showed that 35% of its passengers were first time flyers who would otherwise not have been able to afford to travel by air.
“Competition is good for consumers. It brings choice and it brings air fares down. More Zimbabweans will be empowered to fly. That can only be a good thing,” said Bodin.