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fastjet announces new flights linking South Africa and Zimbabwe

Cape Town – fastjet on Monday, 18 January, announced its newest international routes – from Johannesburg to Harare and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

The launch of these routes comes after fastjet received clearance from the Zimbabwean and South African governments to operate flights between the two respective countries.

Return flights from Harare International Airport and Victoria Falls International Airport to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport will operate using fastjet’s modern Airbus A319 jet aircraft with seating for up to 144 passengers.

The Johannesburg/Harare route will commence on 1 February 2016 and operate daily with an additional daily flight on this route expected soon, the airline said in a statement.

Flights linking Victoria Falls to and from Johannesburg will initially be three times a week on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, commencing 3 February 2016.

Tickets for flights will be on sale this week, with fastjet advising passengers to book early to take advantage of its lowest priced fares on both routes of R1 340* ($80) one-way. This excludes government and airport taxes (R837 [$50] departing Zimbabwe / R586 [$35] departing South Africa)
The initial daily flights will depart from Harare at 06:15 and land in Johannesburg at 07:55, a flight time of 1 hour 40 minutes. The return flight from Johannesburg to Harare departs at 08:40, landing at 10:15 (all local times).

Finalised slots and timetables for the flights linking Victoria Falls and Johannesburg are still to be confirmed by the respective airports.

The flights to Harare and Victoria Falls mark the third and fourth international routes for fastjet from South Africa with the airline presently operating to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.

fastjet also announced that it expects to receive approval for additional international flights to commence from Zimbabwe to further East and Southern Africa markets within the first quarter of 2016.

“The only alternative to flying is to undertake long and uncomfortable journeys by road, which can take up to 20 hours from Johannesburg to Harare or Victoria Falls,”  fastjet’s Chief Commercial Officer Richard Bodin, says.

“As has been the case with other routes that we have launched, we expect many of our passengers to be first time flyers who, because of prohibitively high fares, could not afford to travel by air previously,” as recent research undertaken by the fastjet shows up to 40% of passengers on all routes are first time flyers able to afford air travel for the first time.

Available for purchase on these routes will be fastjet’s luggage upgrade option, ‘Freighty’, that allows passengers to transport up to 80kg of checked in bags.

The Freighty luggage option in particular is expected to be popular with traders flying with fastjet to purchase wholesale produce in Johannesburg to transport back to their home markets to sell.

Source: traveller24


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Airline offers new optional green fee

The low-cost airline Mango has joined the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Carbon Offset Program with a new R6 “green fee” option on their flights, which aims to ‘neutralise’ their carbon offset by helping poorer communities gain access to clean energy sources.

The Mango voluntary offset program is launched on Wednesday, 17 December, with a flat-rate “Green Fee” of R6 which is payable as an extra option for any flight booked on the airline’s network.

With the contribution made, the carbon footprint of the flight journey will be ‘neutralised’ by helping various disadvantaged communities across South Africa to gain access to clean energy sources.

Whilst focusing on the production of clean energy and consequent carbon offsets on the one hand, the project also contributes to job creation and skills development in communities on the other. The project aims to plays a role in the reduction of energy costs to disadvantaged South Africans.

Nico Bezuidenhout, Mango’s Chief Executive Officer says, “The participation of Mango in the IATA carbon offset scheme demonstrates just how deeply committed the aviation industry is to sustainability“. He says, “Mango is an airline for all South Africans and we are firmly positioning ourselves as the airline that aims to positively touch the lives of everyone in our country, whether they do business with us or not. Initiatives such as joining the IATA Carbon Offset Programme and the Climatecare Low Pressure Solar Water Heating project add to our impetus.”

Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General, also believes this plan is a “winning proposition for passengers, the environment and local communities”.

Source: Traveller 24