in Air Transport

Fastjet set for Mozambican and South African market entries

Posted 10 October 2017 · Add Comment

South Africa-based ACMI/charter specialist, Solenta Aviation Group, has increased its stake in fastjet plc ahead of the low-cost airline's push into the South African and Mozambican markets, reports ch-aviation.

fastjet has said that in order to support its growth initiatives, it had held an accelerated book build and a subscription which raised gross cash proceeds of not less than USD44 million. Aside from existing major shareholders such as easyGroup Holdings, support came from Solenta Aviation Group which increased its stake in the firm from 28% to 29.9%.

It is recalled that as part of the original buy-in deal between fastjet and Solenta announced this year, fastjet will be able to deploy Solenta aircraft on any one of Solenta's AOCs on the African continent under the fastjet brand in exchange for a cost contribution/revenue share, depending on use.

As such, fastjet has confirmed it will enter the Mozambican market through Solenta Aviation Mozambique (Maputo) which, as recently reported, was granted scheduled domestic passenger route authorities covering Maputo to each of Beira, Tete, Nampula, and Lichinga. Operations are expected to commence later this month. 

In tandem to the Mozambican market, fastjet will also make its South African market debut under a branding agreement with Federal Air (7V, Durban Virginia).

"Its established network comprising 10 tourism and business destinations provides a viable South African market brand entry for fastjet and a platform from which to grow through adding more destinations within this country," fastjet said.

Entry into the Mozambican and South African markets will be undertaken by a trio of ATR72-600s - - which will be secured on ten-year contracts. The firm said it had signed a letter of intent with ACIA, a member of the ACIA Aero Capital group, for the aircraft which are due to be deployed over the next six months in South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, and possibly Zimbabwe. 

"With the expansion into the new markets, these aircraft will assist fastjet in equipping itself with the appropriate aircraft capacity," it said. "The 70 seater ATR planes, which are turboprops, accommodate shorter runways and deliver better fuel efficiency and per seat passenger costs, on sub 1-hour route flights."

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