African low cost airline start-up Fastjet is to introduce routes and fares on a new website next week.

Tickets will also be sold through travel agents and the carrier’s own sales desk, call centre and offices throughout East Africa.

Fares will be available from $20 one-way excluding taxes and charges via the site.

The website will soon allow tickets to be bought using credit/debit cards as well as mobile phone technology that debits users’ phone accounts.

The distribution plan comes ahead of the airline’s first flight this month and the unveiling of new branding today featuring the African Grey parrot.

This was “carefully selected” following in-depth market research in Africa and reflects the airline’s mission, values and target audience.

Chief executive Ed Winter said: “The African Grey is renowned for its intelligence and is therefore a perfect personification of Fastjet’s motto; smart travel.

“We are delighted to be unveiling this new branding today, which better reflects our individual corporate identity and speaks to our key audiences.

“We hope that our friendly new mascot and logo will soon become universally recognised as symbols of reliability, efficiency and safety.”

The airline has three Airbus A319s as part of its fleet. They are in the process of being painted with the new livery before being dispatched to Tanzania ready for the launch.

Chairman David Lenigas downplayed local reports of disputes with suppliers in Africa which were picked by the Daily Telegraph.

“Whilst we are not able to comment directly on these specific cases, we can confirm that the amounts in dispute are not deemed material, and that we will vigorously defend the company’s interests as these cases progress,” he said.  “Our shareholders would expect us only to settle invoices that are accurate and appropriate.

“The launch of Fastjet has generated enormous interest in East Africa and we are delighted with the strong partnerships being forged with suppliers and governments across the region.

“Our announced launch and growth plans remain firmly on track.”