Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

Low cost airline fastjet is looking to achieve a cash-flow break-even position in the final quarter of 2017.

The airline began flight operations in Tanzania in November 2012, and from its Zimbabwe base in October 2015.

It now flies domestically from Harare to Victoria Falls, and internationally to Johannesburg.

It operates in four African markets: Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and SA.

CEO Nico Bezuidenhout — who used to head South African Airways (SAA) subsidiary Mango — said fastjet had made steady progress in implementing stabilisation efforts, including a re-fleeting process, relocation of its headquarters from London to Johannesburg, and a right-sizing of its operations in Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

It aims to leverage its relationship with Solenta Aviation Holdings, a strategic investor which acquired a shareholding in fastjet in January 2017 and which has an operational footprint in many African countries.

"We are investigating several opportunities across the continent, and plan to develop new markets and network points through prudent growth underpinned by sound commercial principles," Bezuidenhout said.

The airline held its AGM last week, when it announced that it had acquired all intellectual property rights associated with the fastjet brand from the easyGroup and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou for £2.5m.

Previously the airline licensed the mark from the easyGroup. The acquisition of the property rights would enable it to make significant savings in royalty payments that will be amortised over the next five years.

Haji-Ioannou, who founded easyJet in 1995 and fastjet in Tanzania in 2012, holds shares worth about £1.3m in fastjet.

Last week fastjet was recognized as Best African Low-Cost Airline by the Skytrax World Airline Awards at the Paris Air Show.

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