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Did you spot a plane with an African grey parrot painted on its tailfin? Fastjet is a discount airline operating flights within Tanzania, which plans to start South African flights on the 4th July 2013. They purchased the Lonrho aviation arm and are owned by Fastjet PLC, a London listed company. Their IATA code is FN.
We are waiting for fastjet's first flight in South Africa, to review it and tell you what it's like!
Chief Executive : Ed Winter
Chairman : David Lenigas
Chief Commercial Officer : Richard Bodin
Chief Executive of South African operations : Kyle Haywood
In Tanzania, phone +255 685 680553
Fastjet PLC has signed an MoU with fastjet Holdings, who will be hiring Federal Air to operate flights in South Africa for the first 6 months on its behalf (estimated time it will take for fastjet Holdings to get its own license in South Africa), with all revenue going through Federal Air's bank accounts and a portion past on to fastjet Holdings.
mid June. The planned start date for ticket sales.
Fastjet Holdings was previously known as Blockbuster Trading 53, which was registered in South Africa as a company in May 2011), and whose directors are Paul de Robillard, Yusuf Kajee, Zakkiyah Vawda and Edward Zuma (a lawyer, and the eldest son of President Jacob Zuma). The main shareholder of fastjet Holdings is Paul de Robillard. Fastjet Holdings will be 25% owned by Fastjet PLC (can't be more in order to comply with regulations which require South Africans to own at least 75% of airliners operating in the country). Even though they own only 25%, all the funding for the operation comes from fastjet.
31 May 2013. This was the initial planned start date for Johannesburg to Cape Town flights.
17 May 2013. Fastjet's Brad Dicksen is interviewed on SABC News (starts 1 minute 20 seconds into the clip): "Mr Zuma is a shareholder in a business that fastjet have chosen to invest in in South Africa. Federal Air, as a duly licensed airline in South Africa, is going to be in full and complete operational control. We are merely using the fastjet brand. Pretty much akin to a franchise agreement. So I can't see how that is fronting."
15 May 2013. This was the initial planned start date for taking bookings.
7 May 2013. A 144-seater Boeing 737-300 has been wet leased for 6 months from Starcargo Airlines, who will also provide the pilots and cabin crew for the plane. Starcargo Airlines is based at Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport. The short 6 month period is to allow time for fastjet Holdings & Federal Airlines to get permission to operate fastjet's preferred A319 in SA. The Chief Executive of fastjet South Africa, Kyle Haward, says that "This is yet another definitive step towards the commencement of fastjet services and we remain on track for an end of May launch. fastjet is working hard with its South African partners to put this initial route (Johannesburg to Cape Town) on sale shortly."
29 Apr 2013. fasjet announces on the facebook page that South African tickets will be on sale soon.
26 Apr 2013. Blockbuster Trading 53, the SA partner of fastjet, changes its name to fastjet Holdings.
Kyle Haywood has been appointed CEO of fastjet's South African operations (he's also fastjet's MD for Africa). "I am really pleased that we have Kyle overseeing this exciting project given his vast aviation experience". said Ed Winter, the CEO of fastjet. Kyle was CEO of Air Uganda before he joined fastjet, and has had stints working at Etihad and BA.
24 Apr 2013. Fastjet PLC shares, which trade in London, is 29.5% down on the previous day's close.
24 Apr 2013. How did Edward Zuma & Yusuf Kajee get in touch with fastjet, who approached who? There was a matchmaker involved: "To be honest, we were introduced" Richard Bodin.
24 Apr 2013. Some insight into why Fastjet chose Blockbuster over 1time: "In the opinion of the directors, the value of the 1time has diminished over time. As there is still no indication that 1time creditors will accept the fastjet offer, the company has therefore chosen to invest in the Blockbuster/Federal Airlines venture to pursue its entry into an important African market and a country well-suited to fastjet's low-cost operating model."
24 Apr 2013. Edward Zuma, the son of the President, and Fastjet plan to start an offering flights in SA by 31 May 2013. It has signed an MoU with a company called Blockbuster which is owned 75% by South Africans` (and the other 25% owned by fastjet). The new airline will be 75% owned by South African citizens, in order to ensure it complies with SA regulations. Blockbuster has an agreement with Federal Air to operate the flights. Mr David Lenigas, the chairman of fastjet, says that “We believe that the operating agreements in place between Blockbuster and Federal Air represent a great opportunity for fastjet, our local investors, our partners at Federal Air and most importantly, the South African public. Air fares in South Africa have skyrocketed since 1time ceased flying at the end of last year, and many planes are operating at full capacity. We are now firmly focused on quickly getting up and running in order to create a fresh, unique and commercially sustainable offering which will stimulate the market. fastjet sees a strategic gap in the South African marketplace for a pan-continental, low-cost airline operating the yield management model required to keep fares affordable for passengers, not just at launch, but also in the long term. We do not seek to be a hostile competitor in the market place as we fully understand and appreciate the significance of the national carrier and existing airlines in country, but we want to provide extra seat capacity to South Africans so that they can travel when and where they want at better prices.” Fasjet have placed 160m shares with a London company in exchange for 2m pounds (about R28m) to finance its expansion into South Africa. “Though we have been in talks with a number of companies regarding licensing arrangements, we have ultimately decided that in order to best serve South African customers, we should invest not in the past, but in the future.” said Ed Winter, the CEO of fastjet.
22 Apr 2013. So it seems that fastjet are not going to be buying 1time airline after all. Aviwe Nyamar, the provisional liquidator of 1time, as said that the offers from propsective buyers aren't sufficient to cover 1time's debts (and any compromise thereon), so he is applying for 1time's final liquidation date to be brought forward from October. (Fastjet originally wanted to purchase the remains of 1time airline and start operations in South Africa. An issue was that the Air Services Act stipulates a maximum of 25% foreign ownership allowed for an airline to have an air licence to operate within South Africa - however, the Air Services Licensing Act allow for an exemption to the foreign ownership quota at the discretion of the Minister of Transport (Ben Martin). Comair & Mango Airlines objected to Fastjet's application.)
15 Apr 2013. A Fastjet Airbus A319 lands at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport and parks at the Federal Air apron. Nobody knows why they've decided to fly one of their Airbuses to South Africa.
18 Mar 2013. Fastjet said its talks in SA were "very constructive" and announces that it has filed a letter of intent with the 1time liquidator.
14 Mar 2013. "We met with the executives of Fastjet and their attorneys and engaged on technical options to explore in order to expedite our negotiations and finalise this transaction. "The effect of the amendment to the application renders the application legally compliant and does not need consent from the minister with regards to the shareholding structure. A letter of intent will be furnished to us by Fastjet. In turn we will immediately engage with creditors of 1time on the details of a compromise offer, which will have to be voted upon by the different classes of creditors and then sanctioned by the court." said Aviwe Ndyamara, the provisional liquidator of 1time Airline.
8 Mar 2013. Fastjet are visiting South Africa next week. "We see a real opening in the southern African marketplace for a true low cost airline such as fastjet right now and although we have met with stiff opposition from other South African carriers, we feel that the South African flying public will be the true beneficiaries of the added seat capacity we intend to offer. Airfares in South Africa appear to have skyrocketed since 1Time ceased flying at the end of last year, and many planes are operating full to capacity on the key Cape Town and Durban routes. We will also be seeking high-level meetings with the Aviation Authorities to allow Fly540 Tanzania to operate daily services from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Johannesburg." says David Lenigas, Chairman of fastjet
1 Mar 2013. The Tshwane Trust has extended the time frame for the liquidation of 1time until the 2nd October 2013, in order to facilitate the acquisition. Fastjet's application to purchase 1time airline now includes a change which deals with black economic empowerment.
28 Feb 2013. The Democratic Alliance Party's Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Michael, argues that "The Minister of Transport, Mr Benedict Martins, has been dragging his heels without explanation over the signing-off on a deal which would see low-cost airline Fastjet acquire 1time airline. The uncertainty stemming from the Minister’s inaction has left the deal on the brink of collapse, an outcome which would spell the end for 1time and result in the loss of thousands of jobs...The expertise and capital injection Fastjet would bring to 1time would undoubtedly save thousands of jobs and enhance the competitiveness of the domestic airline market, with consumers set to reap the benefits."
24 Jan 2013. The Business Day reports that Comair, who run the Kulula and British Airways brands in South Africa, have objected to Fastjet's bid for 1time airline in a letter written to the IASC (International Air Services Council), saying it would "weaken the position and protection of South African shareholders in African aviation, which is the rationale for the 25% foreign shareholding limit as per the Air Services Licensing Act...We believe that their true intent is actually to expand their services from Tanzania to SA, but instead of following the normal process of applying for route rights from Tanzania, they are bypassing the whole bilateral route application process by buying 1time and acquiring the route rights as a South African airline." Fastjet in turn said that they did not "intend to comment on its ongoing discussions with relevant authorities regarding 1time." It's also reported that Mango Airlines and SAA have filed objections to 1time's license being transferred to Fastjet.
19 Dec 2012. Fastjet announces that it has acquired an option to purchase the entire issued share capital of 1time Airline for R1. If the option is exercised, then the agreement is subject to UK & SA government approval, the approval of Lonrho Plc (Fastjet's largest shareholder), the approval of 1time Holdings shareholders and 1time Airline reaching a court sanctioned agreement with its creditors. The agreement would involve leasing up to 3 of 1time's 12 planes. Initial flight routes would be serving Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, East London & Port Elizabeth. It added that 1time flights would be resumed early in 2013, if the option is exercised. Ed Winter said that "I am pleased we have managed to reach a provisional agreement with all parties to buy 1time. Due to protracted negotiations we will not have 1time flying before the Christmas but very much hope that 1time will be flying again early in the New Year. Flights will initially be operated by a number of aircraft from the 1time fleet including McDonnell Douglas MD-82s, MD-83s and MD-87s. In due course we plan to re-fleet with modern Airbus A319 aircraft. The acquisition of 1time supports fastjet's growth into a pan African low cost carrier and the synergies with fastjet' s existing operations will potentially increase the number of available route networks from South Africa into the rest of Africa. 1time will be rebranded as fastjet brand and sold through fastjet.com. We are working with the South African authorities who, like us, are completely committed to helping the airline industry in South Africa develop for the benefit of all the people. Lower fares mean more economic growth, more jobs and more prosperity. We hope to keep many of the original 1time staff employed. With the co-operation of the shareholders of 1time we can build an airline that will provide a real choice to South Africans, based on the great reputation of 1time and the low cost experience of fastjet."
4 Dec 2012. Fastjet announces that it plans to purchase 1time airlines: “If this transaction goes ahead and the timescales are extremely challenging - we would hope to get 1time flying again in time for the Christmas holiday period, when many customers have had their plans dashed by the cessation of 1time services and the subsequent huge increases in fares by competitors. Flights would initially be operated by a number of aircraft from the 1time fleet including McDonnell Douglas MD-82s, MD-83s and MD-87s, but restructuring plans would see a rapid re-fleeting with modern Airbus A319 aircraft. The acquisition of 1time would be a complementary strategic fit for fastjet’s growth into a pan African low cost carrier and the synergies with fastjet would potentially increase the number of available route networks from South Africa into the rest of Africa. 1time would be rebranded into the fastjet brand and sold through fastjet.com. We are working with the South African authorities who, like us, are completely committed to helping the airline industry in South Africa develop for the benefit of all the people. Lower fares mean more economic growth, more jobs and more prosperity and we hope to keep many of the original 1time staff employed. With the co-operation of the shareholders of 1time we can build an airline that will provide a real choice to South Africans, based on the great reputation of 1time and the low cost experience of fastjet.” said the CEO of fastjet, Ed Winter.
23 May 2013. Fastjet & SomeOne, its marketing agency, win the "Brand Strategy of the Year" at the London Drum Marketing Awards; for establishing Fastjet's African Grey Parrot brand. "The African Grey Parrot was carefully selected by Fastjet following in-depth market research in Africa & reflects Fastjet's motto of Smart Travel"
15 May 2013. Lonrho, the biggest shareholder in Fastjet, has agreed to be taken over for 174.5 million pounds (nearly double its market capitalisation) by FS Africa, a company controlled by Rainer-Marc Frey and Thomas Schmidheiny (which already owns 19.9% of Lonrho). Lonrho will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange.
19 Apr 2013. Fastjet partners with Planet Toccer to provide in-flight "freemium" sports games applications.
18 Apr 2013. Fastjet announces that it has suspended its flights to Kilimanjaro from Zanzibar and Mwanza - Kilimanjaro flights because there's not as much demand for tickets "during the rainy season", & will restart them on the 1st July 2013. Passengers who had booked on the suspended flights are getting refunds.
8 Apr 2013. Fastjet launches its mastercard & visa credit card purchase system for foreign passengers. "We have been inundated with requests from outside Africa for people looking to purchase seats on the FastJet website and we are now in the position to be able to facilitate these bookings. This coupled with our hugely popular Mobile Money payment facility really means that our customer base has the full suite of payment processes available to them" said the COO of Fastjet, Mr Richard Bodin.
8 Apr 2013. Fastjet is announced as one of the top 20 most colourful airlines in the world by Skift (Kulula and Mango were also in the top 20).
26 Mar 2013. Fastjet announces that it is using Wirecard's services for Mastercard & Visa credit car bookings, which allows travel agents & passengers to book flights with debit & credit cards.
18 Mar 2013. Fastjet introduces daily flights from Kilimanjaro to Mwanza and Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar.
26 Feb 2013. Fastjet's General Manager for Africa, Kyle Haywood on the tax issue with Tanzanian authorities, and the issue with Fly Five Fourty Kenya: "There are various agendas out there, there are things that have been reported that are inaccurate. As Fastjet we have a commercial policy that we will not argue cases in the media. We have our own way of reconciling, of validating, and that is exactly what we are doing - that is normal business practice. And so, there is absolutely no risk that the bill that are historical will jeopardise the future. But we have been explaining to the authorities that we want validation of some of those bills, that we want supporting documents for those bills, because we can't just pay simply because there is a figure at the bottom of a piece of paper. But all of the ones for Fastjet we are continuing to pay...There are various channels open which we have tried to engage Fly Five Fourty Kenya to discuss their concerns. Those channels have not been exercised by Fly Five Fourty Kenya for reasons best known to themselves; and so therefore we are looking at various other ways whereby we can expedite this matter. I can tell you that a number of things which have been reported and continue to be reported today are factually incorrect, but we will not argue this case in the media."
12 Feb 2013. Joachim Maambo, of the Tanzania Airports Authority, writes a letter to Fastjet: "Kindly note that, if we don't receive any statement from your office within the stated period, Tanzania Airport Authority will opt for other measures to ensure your company pays the outstanding debt...as at 31 January 2013 the amount is 224,813,040 which is accrued from the invoices drawn from TAA headquarters and 313,470 and 13,422 US dollars accrued from the invoices drawn from the Arusha Airport."
28 Jan 2013. Jetlink, a Kenyan airline, and fastjet sign a Memorandum of Understanding under which the fastjet brand will be launched in Kenya. "We are looking forward to this prospective joint venture. We believe the partnership will be mutually beneficial and will go a long way in meeting the current demand for capacity on Kenya's domestic and regional routes. It will also generate new traffic as passengers are attracted by low fares, made possible by fastJet's low-cost operating model." said the CEO of Jetlink, Elly Aluvale. "This project represents a great opportunity for both parties and discussions are progressing well. A Joint Venture between fastJet and Jetlink will facilitate the launch of the fastjet brand in Kenya within the net few months with immediate access to domestic and regional destinations. Kenya is the major destination in East Africa and launching here is an important step towards fastJet becoming a pan-African low cost airline, bringing safe, reliable and affordable air travel to more and more people." said the CEO of fastJet, Ed Winter.
21 Jan 2013. Fastjet issues 12.5m new shares to Darwin Strategic at 4p per share.
16 Jan 2013. It's now possible for passengers to pay for their flights with their mobile phone, using the M-Pesa mobile payment system. You book the flight online, then a unique booking number is sms'd to you, which can be used to make payment using M-Pesa, with the fastjet business number: 900900.
15 Jan 2013. Because of the issue of 26,666,666 new shares and Lonrho Plc's number of shares staying constant at 1,160,037,455 shares; Lonrho Plc's interest in fastjet has fallen from 62.7% to 61.85%.
3 Jan 2013. "There have been complaints from various quarters about Fastjet but we want to assure all stakeholders that the services are not meant to disrupt anyone’s interests. There is need for the people complaining about Fastjet services to understand the concept behind low cost air travel." said Juma Fimbo, the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority's Charperson.
20 Dec 2012. The Chairman of fastjet, Mr David Lenigas, informs the board that he would like to be paid a salary of one British pound a year. "I am passionate about the possibility of Fastjet's ability to change Africa's GDP [gross domestic product] growth profile. I have been doing business in Africa for a number of decades now and this is my personal way of contributing to changing life for the better in Africa." said Lenigas.
10 Dec 2012. Angus Saunders replaces Richard Blakesley as finance director. From 1997 to 2006 Saunders was CFO of BMI; after which he enjoyed short stints with Nas Air, Flybe and Avianova.
6 Dec 2012. Larry Madowo interviews Fastjet's Chief Executive who explains how they started their first base in Dar es Salaam, & hope to take over Fly540 Kenya in Q12013. "We started our first base in Dar es Salaam, we're wanting to do the same thing in Nairobi. Currently we're flying to 2 domestic destinations, we're flying to Mwanza and Kilimanjaro. The response has been absolutely incredible, with far more people than we expected and we're offering really low fares. Not every ticket on the plane is 20 dollars, the way it works is that if you book early you can get a ticket for 20 dollar. If you book very very late you pay quite a lot more. Our average fare is around 70 or 80 dollars, which means that a lot of people can pay 20 dollars. So if you plan ahead, plan what you're going to do then you can travel (inaudible). So these are people who in the past have travelled long distances by bus to Kilimanjaro and Mwanza; and now, for that sort of price, if they plan their journey, they can travel by aeroplane. We want to be in Tanzania and Nairobi, but started in Tanzania has they already had the airbus on their register, Kenya didn't and so it's taken a longer period time for the Kenyan authorities to get the airbus onto their licenses. Their engineers, their air-worthiness people, have to learn about the aeroplane so that they can supervise...The other carriers are not real low cost carriers, what people have done in the past is buy cheap planes which are 25/30 years old, they're only 50 seats, so they're really inefficient, they burn lots of fuel, they cost a load of money to run, so you can't get a low unit cost. Now our aeroplanes (Airbus 319) have 150 odd seats and are really efficient modern aeroplanes which means that I can really drive down the unit cost per seat. Look around the world, it's always that kind of plane, particularly the Airbus, but also the 737 which are the planes that really drive down costs and enable you to go into the marketplace....What we've done in Tanzania, it was a small operation (Fly540) and we shut that down before we started. Kenya's a slightly bigger operation, so what will happen is as Fastjet comes in Fly540 will disappear and it will be a very rapid transition from one to the other. We have no intention of running the 2 brands side by side. And, quite honestly, Fastjet is bringing something brand new to the African continent...Fastjet will bring operation to Kenya, I'm going to say in the first quarter of 2013 because it's quite a bureaucratic process, there's a lot of ticks and boxes and paper to move around. I'd love to have done it before Christmas, that was my original intent, but we wont hit that target. From Kenya we're looking at flying to Mombasa, but really all the regional capitals as well, so going down to Juba, Kigali, down to Lusaka. I think even though it's slightly longer down to Joburg - I think there's a lot of demand for really good value travelling that sort of distance, and Harare, those sort of places...Kenya Airways have been talking about Jumbo Jet for a quite a while and we haven't seen that yet, but bringing our model is not about taking market share from somebody else, we're not coming along saying 'my aeroplane is nicer & cheaper, come fly with me', it's about going to the market place and saying 'you can now travel for this really low cost on a really reliable, really comfortable flight and stimulating a whole new market', and people who haven't flown before are going to start flying. People who have flown once a year are now going to fly every month. Business people, whose sphere of action has been limited by their ability to travel will now have the whole of East Africa as their market. It's that sort of stimulating of the market - we did it in Europe with easyJet & Ryanair, it's been done in the State, in South America, Australia, it's even been done in Russia; and here in Africa it's just crying out for that sort of travel. Travel at the moment in Africa is 4 times as expensive as Europe. The average African airline seat costs 32c per seat kilometre, it's a quarter of that in Europe...Jetlink are using the wrong equipment, they're not really using the (low-cost) model because using the sort of aeroplanes they have just didn't give them that facility, and what we're going to do is start with Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Angola and other places; so eventually but fairly rapidly Fastjet are going to have airlines throughout Africa. Now they're seperate airlines because of the regulatory environment, but to the consumer it's going to be one website, one great product, whether they're flying to East Africa or West Africa, Fastjet will be the same model, it will be the same service, the same quality and they'll know what to expect. To the customer it's one big airline, but in reality it'll be individual airlines...It's very difficult to predict exactly where we're going to be, but what we've said is that in 6 months we'll have 5 aircraft, in 12 months we'll have 15 as a minimum, my feeling is that there'll be quite a lot more than that, we've said that in 3 years we'll have at least 40 aircraft, those are predictions over where we could end up based on the demand there is in Africa at the moment and the growing middle classes, the amount of money the consumer has to spend, and it's not just statistics, you walk around Africa, you walk around the cities and you see how people are living. There's consumer demand and one of the things consumers like is to travel...Lonrho, who I'm sure everybody knows as they've been out in Africa for a long long time, they had this aviation division, Lonrho Aviation, which had 4 Fly540 companies in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Angola (each had a slightly different level of shareholding). We decided to reverse that out of Lonrho into a seperate company, so Lonrho Aviation was taken out of Lonrho and into a company which was originally called Rubicon, we've now renamed it Fastjet PLC. So, like Lonrho, we're on the London Stock Exchange. The ownership of Fastjet now, 67% of it belongs to Lonrho, 5% to easyGroup which is owned by Stelios Haji-Loannou who started easyJet, and the rest is floated on the stock market. Now Fastjet has holdings in each of the Fly540 companies. So in Tanzania it's 90%, Kenya it's 49% and so on because there's obviously different regulatory requirements in each country...It's an incredibly exciting time for us having launched the airline and it's in the air."
5 Dec 2012. Fastjet confirms it is in talks for a potential partnership with Emirates. Mr Ed Winter, CEO of Fastjet, said that "Talks are at an early stage but this represents a great opportunity for both parties."
29 Nov 2012. FastJet commences flights from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro & Dar es Salaam to Mwanza. “Our initial focus will be on East Africa with the airline’s first base at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where the A319 aircraft has already been approved by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority. This will be followed by a second base in Nairobi, Kenya, once the A319 is approved there. We look forward to bringing a great, reliable and affordable service to the people of East Africa.” said Ed Winter, CEO of FastJet.
27 Nov 2012. Swissport signs an agreement to provide ground services for Fastjet, throughout their network.
22 Nov 2012. Fastjet announces that its first branded A319 aircraft has arrived in Dar es Salaam, and that they have been granted approval by the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority to operate the plane.
9 Nov 2012. Fastjet announces that it has entered into binding subscription agreements to raise $2.4 million for the issue of 42,857,144 new ordinary shares in the Company at a price of £0.035 per share. Upon completion The Subscription Shares will represent approximately 2.43% of the enlarged issued share capital of the Company. "Following the announcement on 5th November 2012 of the completed FastJet branding and the launch of FastJet operations in Tanzania with three A319 aircraft, the Company is now progressing with establishing the second hub location for FastJet in the continuing plan to build the FastJet network into the Low Cost Carrier for all of Africa. 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." said the Executive Chairman of FastJet, David Lenigas.
17 Sep 2012. Fastjet announces that it will be setting up its first base in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
23 Jul 2012. easyJet's Chief Pilot, Rob Bishton, resigns to take up a position at Fastjet.
3 Jul 2012. FastJet announces plans to fly 15 leased Airbus SAS planes within a year. “The decision to launch FastJet with the Airbus A319 will offer unit costs low enough for us to cut fares and stimulate the market,” said Ed Winter, Rubicon's CEO
14 Jun 2012.
Jun 2012. Rubicon acquires Lonrho's aviation business, which flies under the Fly540 branding. Fly540 operates flights in Angola, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
5 Dec 2011. Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of easyJet, says that his easyGroup has agreed with Rubicon (a British investment company) to together study whether launching an African low-cost carrier is feasible. EasyGroup is issued 5% of Rubicon's shares & has the option to purchase 10% more. The chairman of Rubicon, Robert Burnham, says that "It is proposed that easyGroup will become a shareholder in Rubicon and will use the services of Stelios and easyGroup's experienced aviation management team to provide general strategic, management and branding advice on the feasibility of implementing a low cost, point-to-point, no frills, all jet aircraft business model for Africa." Under the deal Rubicon is given the right to use the "FastJet" name in return for a royalty fee, and easyGroup provides branding advice.
Nov 2011. Rubicon raises £400,000 from shareholders (including Lonrho).
26 Sep 2011. The founder of easyJet, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, announces plans to form a new airline, FastJet.
Fastjet produces an in-flight magazine every few months, called travelsmart:
March 2013. Fastjet focus on educating readers about their Airbus A319 plane. There's a writeup on the Ngamba Chimps.
November 2012 . Fastjet's first addition focusses on showcasing their offering of affordable flying. There's a writeup on Arusha National Park, paragliding and Aberdare Hills Golf Course.
Dar es Salaam - Mwanza
Dar es Salaam - Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro - Mwanza
Kilimanjaro - Zanzibar
Fastjet's fleet includes 3 leased Airbus A319s. They plan to have 5 A319's by June 2013, and 15 by December 2013.
23 Apr 2013. Five Forty Aviation and fastjet have agreed to end their legal dispute over licensing agreements & payments. "Both fastjet and Don Smith are pleased to be putting the unfortunate, highly publicised events of the past few months behind us. Don Smith remains the CEO of the Kenyan business and we are pleased to have him as part of the fastjet/Fly540 team." said Mr Ed Winter, Chief Executive of fastjet
7 Mar 2013. Fastjet PLC accounces that it has commenced proceedings in England's High Court of Justice, seeking a declaration that Fastjet has paid Donald Smith for his shares in Fly540, & that Donal Smith hand over all documents which are required to transfer control of Fly540 Kenya.
6 Feb 2013. Five Forty Aviation has withdrawn licenses it sold to Fastjet to use the Fly540 brand in Angola, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania, saying Fastjet had not made full payments owing. "Five Forty Aviation is powerless to terminate purported brand licence agreements for any Fly540 operations. Fastjet plc has responded to the unsubstantiated claims made by Five Forty Aviation regarding the Fly 540 brand through the appropriate channels. This will have no impact on operations. Fly540 is powerless to withdraw air operating licences (AOCs). AOCs are agreements between governments and individual entities. The company categorically refutes claims made by Don Smith regarding any unpaid consideration for the purchase of its interest in Fly540 Kenya and numerous other unsubstantiated claims made through the press in recent weeks." said Fastjet
Fastjet's brand design was done by "SomeOne", a London-based design practice. The fastjet boarding pass:
The aircraft's branding:
If passengers do not show up at the airport in time for their flight, they need to repurchase a new ticket at full fare.
There is no refund for passengers who want to cancel their flight.