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FastJet raises US$2.4 mln as roll-out gains momentum

12-Nov-2012 Africa-focused airline FastJet (LON:FJET) has raised US$2.4 mln to help establish its hub network across the continent.

FastJet’s first flight with its new Airbus 319 is scheduled to take off from Dar es Salem in Tanzania this month.

Last week, the company recently unveiled its new branding alongside the launch of the Tanzania operation, which has now has three A319 aircraft.

David Lenigas, the company’s executive chairman, said it is now progressing with establishing the second hub location.

"These additional funds will be deployed in assessing an earlier than expect opportunity open to FastJet to interact with the Southern African market place and progressing with the opening of further operational hubs for the FastJet network across Africa."

The funds were raised through a placing at 3.5p and amount to 2.43% of the company’s enlarged share capital.

Following the placing, Lonrho’s holding reduces to 65.8%.

FastJet was formed out of the Fly540 network set up by Lonrho and will build on the network set up by the business when it was part of the Africa-focused conglomerate.

Passenger statistics for Fly540 for October showed a 27% increase in the number carried compared to a year ago at 51,015.The load factor fell to 56.4%.

On a rolling 12-month bases the total number of passengers rose by 61.5% to 638,654.

The Fly540 Tanzania operation ceased on October 12 in preparation for the launch of FastJet. This reduced the Fly540 seats available by about 10,000 per month.