- CAPA Analysis
- Schedule Analysis
- Route Maps
- Print Summary
- IATA Code
- ICAO Code
- Corporate Address
- Riverside Green Suites
Five Forty Africa Head Office
Palm Suite, Riverside Drive
PO Box 10293-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
- Main hub
- Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
- Business model
- Low Cost Carrier
- Domestic | International
Fly540 is a Kenyan LCC based at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. The airline, partly owned by African mining and metals company Lonrho, operates scheduled passenger and freight services to destinations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan and Burundi.
Location of Fly540 main hub (Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport)
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider Fly540 fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
125 total articles
21 total articles
Low-cost carriers are starting to slowly – very slowly – penetrate Africa’s regional international market. LCCs currently only account for about 0.2% of international capacity within Africa, making it one of the last frontiers for the global LCC sector.
Tanzania-based LCC start-up fastjet finally launched services from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg on 18-Oct-2013, completing a tedious delay-ridden process. It is the first of several planned international routes for fastjet from Tanzania and other potential new bases throughout Africa.
Incredibly there are currently only five international routes within Africa operated by LCCs. The opportunities for LCCs to penetrate the intra-Africa market are huge but so are the challenges.
fastjet has reported a USD42 million net loss for the six months to 30-Jun-2013, but its directors remain upbeat about the fledgling African LCC’s prospects, with its Tanzanian domestic operations exceeding expectations and making a profit on an underlying route basis. But the directors acknowledge in the unaudited accounts that the carrier will need to raise further funds in the future “which represents a material uncertainty over going concern”.
fastjet’s ambition to establish Africa's first pan-African low-cost carrier is continuing to encounter strong headwinds. On its own admission, the Tanzanian market is too small to sustain the company and international expansion is critical to its longer term survival.
But the first international route from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg has, perhaps predictably, run foul of South Africa’s bureaucrats forcing the eleventh hour postponement of the route launch by about two weeks to the middle of Oct-2013. fastjet will compete against South African Airways (SAA) as the only other operator on the route and has promised to reduce fares by 60%. fastjet is taking online bookings for flights departing from 18-Oct-2013.
Angola has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years renovating, upgrading and building new airports throughout the country which were damaged during the nation’s destructive 27 year civil war following independence from Portugal in 1975.
The investment is beginning to pay dividends with flag carrier TAAG Angola Airlines increasing capacity by nearly 40% in the past year. But competitor Fly540 Angola is struggling to make headway in a market beset by bureaucratic red tape and corruption.
And despite Angola being one of the world’s strongest performing economies, owing to its vast oil reserves and diamond mining industry, the benefits of the nation’s wealth are yet to flow through to the general population.
This is the second instalment in a two-part series of reports on South African Airways' (SAA) low-cost subsidiary Mango. The first report looked at Mango’s slow pace of expansion in the five years after its Nov-2006 launch and its improved outlook in the domestic market, where the carrier over the last year has begun pursuing faster growth. This report looks at the potential for Mango to operate international services from its South African base and launch new affiliates in other African countries, which would put Mango in competition with new pan-Africa LCC group fastjet.
Potential joint ventures or affiliates have always been part of Mango’s long-term plan. But just as it has been relatively conservative in the domestic market, Mango has been slow to expand in the international market – both organically and in establishing joint ventures.
fastjet has suffered a baptism of fire since entering the African market through the acquisition of the Fly540-branded aviation business of British conglomerate Lonrho and a 49% stake in Kenya’s Five Forty Aviation in Jul-2012.
The carrier holds ambitions to establish the first pan-African LCC airline by creating a series of fastjet branded airlines throughout the continent under a common sales and service platform. But a series of setbacks including a bitter legal dispute over the ownership of the Fly540 Kenya interest, unexpected delays in gaining rights to operated international services from its Tanzania home base, attempts to enter the South African market and underperforming Fly540 subsidiaries in Ghana and Angola have all conspired in fastjet posting a USD56 million loss for the 18 months to 31-Dec-2012.
Nevertheless, the company remains confident it will succeed. fastjet executive chairman David Lenigas stated: “The next few months will represent a greater transformation for the Company as we endeavour to further implement and grow the fastjet business model. The board is confident it has the right strategy and team in place to build a successful and profitable future for our shareholders”.
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.