Passenger statistics for November for low-cost African airline fastjet (LON:FJET) were hit by the prolonged effect of the presidential election in Tanzania.
The airline carried 62,843 passengers during the month, with the load factor – a measure of how full its aeroplanes were – down three points from the previous month to 60%.
The company said demand from government and civil service officials has tailed off during the election because no budget has yet been agreed.
Severe weather in November led to a slight reduction in punctuality, with 84% of fastjet's Tanzania flights arriving on time; however, the weather in Zimbabwe was more clement, and all of fastjet's Zimbabwe flights arrived on time in what was the first month of operation in the country.
“We are delighted that fastjet Zimbabwe has been well received in its first month of operation. Passenger feedback has been positive and we look forward to expanding that network,” said chief executive Ed Winter.
During the month, fastjet also launched a new route between Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg and Zanzibar. Tickets for the new route are currently on sale, with operations commencing in January 2016 with daily flights between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.
"The exciting launch of a new route between Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg and Zanzibar links the stunning island with two thriving commercial centres. Zanzibar, a year-round holiday destination, has recently enjoyed increased popularity, especially in South Africa. We expect to attract new passengers to fastjet in both Tanzania and South Africa with our affordable fares and reliable air services," Winter said.
Investor concerns are likely to focus on the core Tanzanian services, however, and here Winter offered some hope, expressing confidence that things would pick up in the New Year when the political environment stabilises.
“Our 'one day anniversary sale' on 30 November produced some excellent results, filling many seats into early 2016,” Winter revealed.