December 17, 2018 / 3:05 PM / 5 months ago

Fastjet suspends flights in Tanzania until the end of January

DAR ES SALAAM, Dec 17 (Reuters) - African low cost airline Fastjet said on Monday it had suspended all domestic flights within Tanzania until the end of January after the country’s aviation authorities warned they would likely revoke the company’s licence.

The airline, launched in 2012, has been cash-strapped for more than two years due to tough conditions in Tanzania, its home market.

On Dec. 7 it warned it may have to go into administration, shut shop or sell itself as it had only enough cash to keep it in business for a week.

“Fastjet Tanzania would like to inform all customers who booked air tickets for December 2018 and January 2019 that it has suspended its flights for a while due to operational issues,” the airline said in a notice seen by Reuters.

Fastjet operates in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.

In Tanzania, the airline has been operating flights on several domestic routes connecting the capital Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro in north Tanzania and other towns.

All passengers who had bought tickets for the period would have their fares refunded starting Dec. 20, the notice added.

At a press conference in Dar es Salaam, Hamza Johari, director general of the state-run Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) said it had given Fastjet a 28-day notice to sort out its management problems.

“Fastjet has lost its qualifications to provide airline service. Therefore, TCAA is intending to revoke the company operational certificate,” Johari said.

He said the airline had been directed to submit a plan to revive its business. (Reporting by Nuzulack Dausen; Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Mark Potter)

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