African airline Fastjet launches with digital push by Bozboz, following the easyJet model
This Thursday, Nov. 29, low-cost carrier Fastjet is set to begin operating scheduled flights from its base in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The airline has been created by the founder of EasyJet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
Stelios aims is to create the first pan-African budget airline, though the airline’s use of 150-seater aircraft will limit the number of airports the airline can operate in to Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda in its first year of operation.
In its marketing efforts, Fastjet is targeting a mobile and social generation of middle-class Africans.
Digital marketing plan
Bozboz, digital agency based in Brighton, UK, has built fastjet.com, which is mobile-ready and features the company’s distinctive yellow branding and an African Grey parrot. The agency says it was only approached in September 2012, so it had to act quickly.
Since going live a week ago, the site has received more than 20,000 hits, which resulted in 8,000 bookings. Flights within Tanzania are available to start, with connections to Kenya and Uganda coming next.
Unique to Africa
Africa has a large mobile base, so the usability of Fastjet’s mobile site will be critical.
Bozboz says that marketing plan aims to take advantage of Facebook’s popularity in Africa with clever campaigns.
It also claims that the hosting infrastructure is designed “to cope with high volumes of traffic” and that a custom content management system will make it simple for the airline to add routes and other content, especially a multinational customer service portal.
The low-cost airline launched this week as Sir Stelios sought to replicate the success he achieved with easyJet.
EasyGroup Holdings owns 5% of fastjet and has the option to acquire another 10%, says Marketing.
All eyes in Africa will be watching on Thursday as the low-cost airline’s first Airbus A319 flight takes off. The low-cost model has great promise for the continent, as flying from one side of Africa to another frequently requires a costly and insane layover in Europe.
Sean O’Neill is a New Jersey-based reporter for Tnooz. He is also a daily contributor of consumer news to LonelyPlanet.com.
He used to work for BBC Travel, BudgetTravel.com, and Kiplinger's, and used to live in London, New York City, and Washington, DC.