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Fastjet seeks nod to launch local flights

By Paul Wafula | June 2nd 2016

Low cost airline Fastjet plans to fly to at least four domestic destinations in Kenya if it receives the final clearance from the aviation regulator.

According to a notice by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), Fastjet Kenya wants clearance to start immediate flights from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Eldoret, Kisumu, Wajir and Mombasa.

The airline also wants to be allowed to operate non-scheduled air services for passengers, freight and mail in Kenya to various points in Africa, Middle East and Europe. According to the notice published in a recent issue of the Kenya Gazette, the budget airline is expected to use the A319, CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft based at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

KCAA issued the notice, inviting anyone with reservations on the licences to make them in the next 21 days. "Such representation should be sent by the person making it to the applicant by registered mail at the same time it is sent to the Authority," the notice reads in part.

The low cost carrier recently received one of the two licences it needs to begin domestic flights, taking it closer to launching local operations and posing yet another threat to Kenya Airways and Fly540. This is the second and final licence that it needs to operate in the country.

KCAA gave the low-cost airline the first licence, an Air Service Licence (ASL), in October that allowed it to launch its operations in Kenya. The licence allowed it to apply for an Air Operator Certificate (AOC), which it is now seeking, to launch flights in the country.

The airline has had difficulty in its previous attempts to enter the Kenyan market. "The granting of the ASL clears the way for Fastjet Kenya to commence the application process for an AOC, which once received, will allow the airline to operate domestic flights within Kenya," the airline said in a statement.

It added that the AOC application process would involve an in-depth review of Fastjet Kenya's planned safety management system, operational manuals and structures, its senior staff, fleet, maintenance facilities and technical capability.

Fastjet currently operates daily flights between Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. It plans to introduce flights between the Tanzanian city and Mombasa by the end of the year.

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