FastJet announced (17-Sep-2012) plans to establish its first operating base at Dar Es Salaam. FastJet CEO Ed Winter said the airline plans to open a second base in Nairobi once it receives approval to operate A319 aircraft in Kenya. Mr Winter said the airline plans to focus initially on east Africa before expanding to Ghana and Angola with bases at Accra and Luanda. The airline plans to commence operations in Nov-2012. [more - original PR]
FastJet to commence operations from Dar Es Salaam
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fastjet pushes ahead with African expansion in 2013, but faces protectionist hurdles
fastjet is pushing ahead with expansion plans to create a pan-African low-cost carrier network, adding two more routes to its Tanzania domestic network in Mar-2013, applying to operate its Fly540 between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg and continuing to negotiate a deal to buy South African LCC 1time from its liquidators.
London Stock Exchange-listed fastjet will launch daily services to Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar and Mwanza on 18-Mar-2013, increasing its network by 50%. The carrier launched in Nov-2012 with two routes from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza and Kilimanjaro.
fastjet acquired the Fly540 aviation business of British-based African-focused investment firm Lonrho in Jun-2012, including its operations in Kenya, Tanzania, Angola and Ghana. The Fly540 operation will be progressively rebranded as fastjet and adopt its hybrid LCC model. The carrier has a licensing and consulting agreement with easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup, which also holds a 5% stake in the company
The carrier is, however, dealing with a raft of claims relating to the troubled takeover of Five Forty Aviation operations ranging from outstanding debts, including unpaid aircraft leases, airport fees, bank guarantees and taxes.
Fastjet secures Nairobi base, but expansion in East and South Africa may be on hold
Fastjet has secured its entry into the Kenyan market and its first expansion outside Tanzania and access to the key Nairobi hub by throwing a lifeline to collapsed local carrier Jetlink Express.
The two carriers signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 28-Jan-2013 to create a joint venture allowing fastjet to launch its brand in Kenya in the next few months.
Fastjet launched two domestic routes from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania in Nov-2012 with A319 aircraft, rebranding and refleeting its newly acquired Fly540 operation in the country. The carrier also owns the Fly540 regional operations in Angola and Ghana.
The bigger Kenyan market will provide a strong launch pad for further Eastern African expansion, including the development of links with international carriers which are already being explored.