Fastjet and Mozambique Airlines have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore long-term commercial cooperation.

The deal outlines several areas of cooperation between the airlines which are expected to significantly enhance commercial aviation in Mozambique.

It sets out codeshare and interline agreements between the two carriers, optimised network synergies to accommodate these, and details of cooperation on commercial systems, cargo, engineering and maintenance.

“This approach to commercial cooperation is the first of its kind on the African continent,” said Fastjet chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout.

“It presents a significant opportunity to stimulate not only commercial aviation but also up and downstream economic growth through key initiatives. Fastjet is committed to exploring and leveraging this agreement to the benefit of the people of Mozambique and both airlines.”

“This memorandum provides a strong foundation for us to meet the Government of Mozambique’s Whole of State Aviation objectives.”

Fastjet, which also operates in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, is the first low-cost carrier brand to enter the Mozambique market.

Since Fastjet launched its network in Mozambique last November, the airline has achieved strong load factors on its initial routes between Maputo and Beira, and Nampula and Tete, and an on-time performance record of over 85 per cent.

Mozambique Airlines chief executive, Antonio Pinto, commented: “The memorandum signed today will not only further strengthen Mozambique’s flag carrier as a regional air-services provider but will also contribute significantly to initiatives that promote tourism, economic development and trade.

“This is an exciting and industry-leading public-private partnership.”