Aiming to become the first discount pan-African carrier, fastjet has signed a deal with Emirates airline, which will allow passengers of the Dubai carrier to buy tickets on its network in East and Southern Africa.

Fastjet is the British holding company for low-cost carriers in Africa, which operates fastjet Tanzania and received a licence for fastjet Zimbabwe on Wednesday.  Fastjet Zambia plans to take off before the end of the year. Passengers of the airline will then be able to fly on the Emirates network via Dubai.

The deal with Emirates is “a significant validation of our operation, service and proven low-cost model,” said Richard Bodin, the fastjet chief commercial officer.

Will Horton, an analyst with Centre for Aviation, said that there were several advantages of Emirates partnering with fastjet.

“First there is the opportunity to have a wide reach with one brand rather than have to sign and manage agreements with distinct carriers in each country. There’s no need to look for a partner in Tanzania and another in Zimbabwe since Fastjet has a base in both. As Fastjet grows with four more bases, the deal can be expanded. It has the potential to be very scaleable.”
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