Dar es Salaam — Fastjet Plc, Africa's first pan African low cost carrier has said it will soon launch a website where customers would buy tickets using mobile phone technology. It will debit the users phone accounts.
In Tanzania, mobile money transfer service that allows mobile phone users to send and receive money, as well as paying their bills is performing successfully.
There is the Mpesa, Tigo Pesa, Zan Money and Airtel Money among others battling for the existing market.
According to the airline holding company for African airline Fly540, operating from four bases in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Angola, it will commerce its first flight this month.
The airline's Chief Executive Mr. Ed Winter told East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam while unveiling its new brand that will begin selling tickets this week ahead of the airline's first flight this month.
"We have created the airline's new website which would allow tickets to be bought using credit/debit cards as well as mobile phone technology that debits the users phone accounts next week," said Winter.
Additionally, Winter said tickets will also be sold through travel agents. They will also be sold at Fastjet's own sales desk, call centre and offices throughout East Africa.
He insisted tickets will be available from as low as $20 one-way excluding taxes and charges.
The new branding, which replaces the existing placeholder logo, features the well-known African Grey Parrot which was carefully selected following in-depth market research in Africa and reflects the firm's mission, values and target audience.
He said African Grey is a perfect personification of Fastjet's motto, the smart travel. "We are delighted to be unveiling this new branding today (last week), which better reflects our individual corporate identity and speaks to our key audiences," noted Winter.
The airline which is listed on the London Stock Exchange has three Airbus A319s as part of its fleet.
Winter said all three aircraft are in the process of being painted with the Fastjet livery before being dispatched to Tanzania ready for the launch.
The airline's Chairman, Mr David Lenigas said; "We are excited that the launch is now imminent and that fastjet will be turning from a concept into a reality."
Fastjet Plc is the holding company for African airline Fly540, which operates from four bases in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Angola. Fly540 currently has 10 aircraft serving around 25 domestic and regional destinations, carrying approximately 750,000 passengers per year with a strong emphasis on safety, security and reliability.
Africa is a growth aviation market with regional and intercontinental traffic both growing rapidly as a result of the continent's continued economic expansion. With over one billion people, Africa is hampered by poor infrastructure, a lack of roads and railways and long distances between urban populations. The African aviation market is significantly underserved with air travel spending as a percentage of GDP a fraction of that of other emerging markets.