New African no-frills airline Fastjet has taken more than 8,000 bookings in its first week on sale.

The airline, which is being backed by Easyjet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is due to launch its first flight next Thursday (November 29) from the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam.

Fastjet said its first branded Airbus A319 has already arrived in Dar es Salaam and the company has also received operating approval from Tanzania’s aviation authority.

Chairman David Lenigas said: “Plans for Fastjet’s official launch of operations are moving ahead right on schedule and we are delighted with the level of interest so far.

“Demand for seats is high and we are in great shape to start flying next week. We are delighted to have such a solid foundation to build upon.”

Fastjet will start services by operating domestic routes in Tanzania from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro and Mwanza.

The company then intends to expand rapidly across Africa by setting up a second base in Nairobi, Kenya, followed by more operations in Ghana and Angola in its goal to become the continent’s first pan-African no-frills carrier.

Fastjet said its new website had received 20,000 hits in its first four days and it had also launched a mobile site.

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