fastjet's Chief Commercial Officer Sylvain Bosc has confirmed the African low-fare airline is now considering adding turboprops to its various units' fleet make-ups.

At present, Fastjet (Tanzania) and Fastjet Zimbabwe operate a combination of Airbus and Embraer jet aircraft. The Tanzanian unit currently employs a single A319-100 for use on flights connecting Dar-es-Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, and Mwanza domestically as well as Harare Int'l, Lusaka, and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo regionally. A pair of Mandarin Airlines EMB-190s on lease from GECAS is due in the next month or so. For its part, the Zimbabwean operation wet-leases two ERJ-145s from fastjet equity partner Solenta Aviation on flights covering Harare Int'l and Victoria Falls locally and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo regionally.

However, speaking to Aviadev's Jon Howell, Bosc said the turboprop could be used to develop untapped domestic services in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and elsewhere.

"There are many routes all over Africa that demand turboprops (either because of short runways or short flight time) to offer the lowest possible cost for everyone, which is a fundamental principle in the fastjet value proposition," Bosc said. "We are currently looking at three new African countries in which we could allocate a combination of jets and turboprops, mostly on domestic services. We noticed that domestic traffic flows are much easier to stimulate through low fares than international ones."

As part of its equity transfer agreement with Solenta, fastjet is able to deploy Solenta aircraft on any one of Solenta's AOCs on the African continent under the fastjet brand. As such, Solenta Aviation's turboprop fleet entails Cessna (single turboprop) Grand Caravan 208Bs, Beech 1900Ds, Let 410s, as well as larger ATR42-500s, and ATR72-200/500s spread across its South African mother unit as well as Solenta Aviation Côte d'Ivoire, Solenta Aviation Gabon, Solenta Aviation Ghana, Solenta Aviation Kenya, and Solenta Aviation Mozambique.