Tickets for African budget carrier Fastjet’s first international route between Tanzania and South Africa will go on sale this week.

Flights from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg will be available with fares starting at $100 plus government taxes and charges, prices the airline claims are “substantially cheaper” than existing rates.

Facebook ‘friends’ of the airline will get first option to book flights on Wednesday with seats going on general sale the following day.

The first Airbus A319 service is scheduled for September 27 with three flights a week planned.

The carrier plans to raise the frequency of flights in line with market demand.

Further international destinations, including Lusaka in Zambia, are expected to be added in the near future.

Chief executive Ed Winter said: “Despite a number of challenges, Fastjet is now able to respond to huge consumer demand and provide an alternative and affordable link between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg, having secured all required permissions to do so.

“For far too long it has been difficult and prohibitively expensive to fly between these two extraordinary cities.

“We expect our lower fares to stimulate a huge increase in the numbers of passengers travelling on this route, as has been the case on our domestic routes in Tanzania.”

He added: “We hope that the obvious desire for a change in the competitive landscape will result in Fastjet soon being awarded licenses in more African countries, bringing consumers the benefits of choice and lower prices on many more international routes.”

Chief commercial officer Richard Bodin said: “We have been working exceedingly hard to acquire the necessary permissions to operate internationally and we would like to thank the public for their patience and support.

“Our decision to offer our Facebook ‘friends’ the opportunity to purchase tickets first is our way of thanking them.

“For some time the Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg route has only been operated by one airline and the lack of competition has created inflated fares.”