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Fastjet partners with unnamed individual in fresh Kenya plan

Low cost carrier Fastjet has partnered with an unnamed Kenyan entity and applied for an Air Service License (ASL) from the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA). Fastjet has long been interested in launching flights in Kenya.

5H-FJC, one of three Airbus A319 jets that Fastjet is operating in Tanzania.

5H-FJC, one of three Airbus A319 jets that Fastjet is operating in Tanzania.

In its announcement yesterday, Fastjet says it has incorporated a new company to be known as Fastjet Kenya. 51% of Fastjet Kenya is owned by what the airline describes as a, “Kenyan national.” The balance of 49% is held by Fastjet PLC.

The shareholding of the new company reflects Kenyan law which calls for local partnership in corporate ventures as Fastjet PLC is a UK company.

“We have submitted a comprehensive application to the authorities who have confirmed that Fastjet Kenya has entered the approval process,” said Fastjet CEO, Ed Winter.

“We look forward to bringing the Fastjet operation to Kenya, offering our market stimulating fares, our excellent on time performance and friendly service,” said Winter in the announcement. “This is in addition to the application for Fastjet Tanzania to operate services between Kenya and Tanzania. The process for designation of Fastjet Tanzania is ongoing.”

The Air Service License (ASL) that Fastjet Kenya is seeking is a significant step toward obtaining a full Air Operating Certificate which, if approved, will allow Fastjet Kenya to begin operations domestically within and internationally from Kenya.

KCAA has indicated that Fastjet Kenya’s application, along with other applications, will be gazetted on Friday 29 August 2014. The public hearing will be held 21 days after publication, following which KCAA will make a decision.

As part of its application, Fastjet Kenya has submitted a detailed business plan incorporating its proposed operation, network, aircraft specification, operational plan and commercial strategy.

Kenya’s air transport industry is getting more vibrant by the day. This year alone, three new airlines have launched domestic flights in Kenya. The airlines are Jambojet, SkyAero and Southeast Airlines. Indeed, Southeast Airlines made its inaugural Nairobi – Mombasa flight just last Friday (22 August 2014). The three airlines join a domestic air transport sector that includes Kenya Airways, Fly540, AirKenya, FlySax among others.

On regional flights, Astral Aviation has linked up with a Chinese Airline to launch operations later this year using 50-seater Embraer 145 aircraft.

Now that the Kenyan government is open to the idea of competition in the skies, the next best thing would be to reduce taxes to help airlines lower their fares and attract more passengers.

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