Africa: Government stops Fastjet Operations in Tanzania for repeated Flight Cancellations

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The Civil Aviation Authority of Tanzania has temporarily revoked FastJet’s operating license at least up to the end of January next year following the airline’s repeated cancellation of flights.

The airline also has a huge debt accumulation it owes its contractors and the federal government of Tanzania.

Reports from Tanzania indicate that the airline had failed to address several operating issues that resulted in flights disruptions.

“Fastjet Tanzania has lost all its qualifications to mount flights in Tanzania due to its frequent flights’ cancellations,” said a statement from Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA).

TCAA said Fastjet owed huge sums of money to them and other service providers amounting to US$600,000 (Tshs 1.4 billion) to the Federal Government of Tanzania through the provision of services like security along with other regulatory fees.

“All service providers that are demanding money from FatstJet should send their invoices to the Civil Aviation Authority,” said Hamza Johari the TCAA Director General.

TCAA issued a 28-day notice for the airline to submit its financial and business plans after it was reported that it was bought out by Tanzanian investors.

Johari said FastJet had insufficient planes for flights, which rendered them to fall below the required qualifications in Tanzania.

“We ask people to seek for alternative airlines as Fastjet cannot operate,” said Johari.

“We had suspended all foreign trips by Fastjet because, at the start of the month, we realized that the airline was facing a financial meltdown. They may resume their domestic and foreign flights after we are satisfied that they can fully operate,” said Johari.

FastJet launched their first scheduled passenger flights in 2012 amid tough conditions in Tanzania. It operates its regional flights from Dar es Salaam to Lusaka in Zambia, Harare (Zimbabwe), Maputo (Mozambique), and Johannesburg in South Africa.

All flights to and from South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique haven’t been affected in the airline’s crisis.

Fastjet reassures customers
Fastjet PLC Group Head Office (Johannesburg) has reassured its customers that flights on fastjet Zimbabwe and fastjet Mozambique are operating as normal, providing reliable services on the respective route networks.

Following the suspension of flights by fastjet Airlines Ltd (Tanzania), all flights to and from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique remain unaffected.

In Tanzania, fastjet Airlines is independently owned, following a management buyout from the group’s parent entity earlier in 2018. The Tanzanian airline announced on Monday 17th December a temporary suspension of flights, following a 28-day notice from the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), requesting reassurances from the airline that its air services would continue to meet TCAA requirements; failing which the TCAA would be forced to revoke the Tanzanian licences.

The following flights operated by fastjet Airlines Ltd (Tanzania) have been placed on hold pending the airline providing the necessary assurances to the TCAA.

• Dar es Salaam to Mwanza
• Mwanza to Dar es Salaam
• Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro
• Kilimanjaro to Dar es Salaam
• Dar es Salaam to Mbeya
• Mbeya to Dar es Salaam
• Dar es Salaam to Harare
• Harare to Dar es Salaam
• Lusaka to Dar es Salaam
• Dar es Salaam to Lusaka

All other routes operated by fastjet in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique remain unaffected and, in fact, fastjet will be launching new products and services in 2019 as part of its plans as Africa’s affordable airline.

Sources: atcnews.org, busiweek.com

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