The Sunday News
Prince Sunduzani, Business Reporter
LOW-COST airline, fastjet has signed an interline agreement with global airline giant, Emirates, a move expected to boost inbound African tourism and trade.
Interline agreements enable travel for passengers who require flights with more than one airline to complete their full journey. The agreement will see the two airlines sharing inventories through Global Distribution Systems, Amadeus and Travelport.
Fastjet chief executive Mr Nico Bezuidenhout said the development will see growth in inbound traffic volumes as it will open up fastjet destinations to a new market.
“The agreement is historic, fastjet has become the first African low-fare airline to engage major global airline brands. Fastjet connects international hubs with major urban centres in our markets.
“In Tanzania for example travellers would be able to seamlessly connect between Dar-es-Salaam and Mwanza, Kilimanjaro and Mbeya, all of which support various industry and tourism nodes,” said Mr Bezuidenhout.
“Emirates is one of the leading carriers with more than 18 percent market share of all inbound traffic into Africa. The interline agreement will have a significant impact on tourism and business travel as fastjet destinations become accessible to a substantially sized, new market.”
Tourism reports indicated an eight percent increase in international arrivals to sub-Saharan Africa last year. The airline operates the Victoria Falls-Johannesburg route, Harare-Johannesburg and the Harare-Victoria Falls routes. Recently, the airline’s local division celebrated flying more than 125 000 passengers on 1 678 flights with an impressive 94 percent on-time performance, establishing itself as a punctual, reliable and affordable low-cost carrier. @PrinceNkosi102