More details are emerging about the anticipated fleet change by Fastjet to smaller, more economical and easier to fill aircraft in both Tanzania and Zimbabwe, and also for the new offspring in Kenya, which is presently undergoing the mandatory audit for an Air Operator Certificate, in short AOC.
Several sources close to the airline have suggested that several of the presently leased Airbus A319 will be phased out and replaced by Embraer E190’s come November this year.
The recently announced new winter schedule now shows seat charts for aircraft used on domestic routes in Tanzania, which confirms the E190 all-economy layout. It seems that the overall fleet in Tanzania will shrink to just three aircraft – one remaining Airbus A319 and two leased Embraer E190s. A similar change will happen in Zimbabwe, where the Airbus A319 will also make way for an Embraer E190.
When the airline confirms these changes, thought to be imminent now that the news are out, it will be the first major change implemented by new CEO Nico Bezuidenhout, who set out two major areas for his attention when he accepted the job – relocation of the head-office from London Gatwick to Africa and a right-sizing of the fleet.
Given the different characteristics between the current and the new aircraft, there is also speculation about the future of the cockpit crews of the Airbus A319, if they are being retrained to become type-rated on the Embraer E190 – or whatever other aircraft the airline may decide to introduce – or leave for deployment elsewhere. The cabin crew size of the A319 is greater compared to the mandatory deployment of crew in an E190 cabin.