William Zelothe Stephen the first Tanzanian Maasai to be certified to fly an Airbus A319
William Zelothe Stephen is the first Tanzanian Maasai to be certified to fly an Airbus A319, following his training to become a pilot for fastjet. He recently undertook his two-month training in the UK, sponsored by fastjet, returning this week to Tanzania. William is originally from Olosipe, near Arusha.
William likens his experience of flying the Airbus A319 to being in a “state-of-the-art house”, and describes the plane as a very stable aircraft with multiple protection systems. ‘’The Airbus aircraft really looks after you, if you know the ins and outs of it,’’ he said.
William has a background in wildlife management, and first trained as a pilot at Florida Aviation Academy in the USA back in 2006, where he obtained his Airline Transport Pilot Licence. Despite his young age, he has already clocked up 3,053 flying hours.
Hiring this 28-year old Tanzanian pilot is part of fastjet’s efforts to ensure the airline hires the best, locally trained staff. Their recruitment strategy is also part of their wider social responsibility plans to invest in Tanzania. Each pilot training cost approximately 49,546,400 TZS which is equivalent to $ 31,027.
Fastjet is a new low-cost African airline that recently acquired Fly540 and launched the continent’s first true budget carrier.
The airline which, is backed by Lonrho and easyGroup founder Sir Stelios Haji Ioannou, has introduced competitive fares of as low as Tsh 32,000 before taxes in order to enable millions of people who have previously been locked out of air travel to fly for the first time and to fly more often.Since the airline’s launch in November 2012, the low cost airline has flown over 70,000 people with 99.7% of flights on time.