Fastjet PLC FJET Fastjet Launch and Partnership with Swissport

  Fastjet PLC (FJET) - Fastjet Launch and Partnership with Swissport

RNS Number : 0539S
Fastjet PLC
27 November 2012






27 November 2012



                                      

                                 fastjet plc

                         ("fastjet" or the "Company")

                                      

   fastjet Airbus unveiled as Tanzanian government welcomes Africa's first
                              Low-Cost Airline;

              Africa-handling partnership with Swissport agreed

                                                                             

                                      

fastjet, Africa's first low-cost airline,  has today unveiled its first  fully 
branded aircraft  ahead of  commencing flight  operations in  Tanzania in  two 
days' time.  At an  industry event  in Dar  es Salaam,  government  officials, 
fastjet executives and aviation experts  watched the Fastjet Airbus A319  take 
to the skies for the first time.



From Thursday, 29^th November, fastjet will operate twice daily flights on its
first two routes, Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam to Mwanza,
both popular domestic destinations. Tickets went on sale two weeks ago and
fastjet has recorded strong demand; outstripping its initial expectations.
Average fares are expected to be $80 but now start from as low as US$20
one-way (excluding taxes and charges) for customers who book early.
Representing the Tanzanian Ministry of Transport, Deputy Minister Mr Charles
Tizebawas also present at today'slaunchand welcomed fastjet's
entrytoTanzania; demonstrating the government's support for the
newairline.



Speaking today in Dar es Salaam, fastjet Chief Executive Ed Winter said:



"Today is an incredibly  exciting day not just  for fastjet, but for  Tanzania 
and Africa  as  a whole.  For  years,  the African  aviation-market  has  been 
significantly underserved, lagging  a very  long way  behind the  rest of  the 
world. GDP  growth is  fuelling a  real increase  in disposable  incomes  and 
consumer spending and although this is  accompanied with a growing demand  for 
travel, the African  people just  haven't had  a reliable  and affordable  air 
travel option available to them. fastjet will  now serve to fill that gap  and 
we look  forward to  bringing the  people  of Tanzania  and indeed  the  whole 
continent the first  pan African  low cost, point-to-point,  all jet  airline, 
operating to international standards of safety and quality."





fastjet is committed to becoming a large scale local employer and will recruit
and train people on the ground. It  has already hired over 70 local people  in 
Tanzania in  a variety  of roles  including  cabin crew  and sales  staff  and 
recruitment is expected  to continue  as the  airline takes  delivery of  more 
aircraft.



Commenting on today's  launch, John  Leahy, Airbus  Chief Operating  Officers: 
Customers, said:



"fastjet's decision to base its fleet on A319s is testament to the  aircraft's 
efficiency,  reliability  and  suitability  for  the  low-cost  operations  in 
Sub-Sahara  Africa.  With  the  market-leading  modern  Airbus  single-aisle 
aircraft, fastjet will be introducing new levels of comfort and  affordability 
to an African market which is set to double over the next 20 years."



fastjet will be run by an experienced  aviation team led by Ed Winter,  former 
Chief Operating Officer at easyJet  and founding director of low-cost  airline 
Go, Chief  Commercial  Officer Richard  Bodin,  former Contracts  Director  at 
easyJet  and  Business  Director  of  low-cost  airline  Jet2.com,  Operations 
Director Rob Bishton,  former Chief  Pilot &  Head of  Aircraft Operations  at 
easyJet and General Manager of Africa Kyle Haywood, former Chief Executive  of 
Air Uganda.



Fastjet operates  under  a brand  licence  agreement with  easyGroup  Holdings 
Limited and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder  of a leading low cost  airline, 
easyJet. Commenting on  the launch, easyGroup  Holdings Chairman Sir  Stelios 
said:



"Now it's Africa's turn! I am delighted to have played a small part in
starting yet another revolution. I wish everyone involved happy landings!"



The airline anticipates that passenger  numbers, which under the Fly540  brand 
currently stand at  750,000 per  year could  significantly increase  following 
launch, as fastjet plans to operate a fleet of up to 15 A319s over the  coming 
year.



fastjet's first base is  in Dar es  Salaam and its second  base in Nairobi  is 
planned to open in spring 2013.  Once established in East Africa, the  airline 
has plans to launch in Accra in Ghana and Luanda in Angola.



fastjet is also delighted  to announce today that  it has signed an  agreement 
with Swissport International, the world's leading provider of ground  services 
to the aviation sector, under which it will provide ground services throughout
the airline's network.



Through an exclusive partnership agreement Swissport will supply a variety  of 
airport services, be responsible for service delivery and support supply chain
growth throughout the fastjet network.

Juan Jose  Andres  Alvez,  Swissport's  Executive  Vice  President  of  Ground 
Handling for Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa, commented: "Swissport has a
huge amount of experience  in LCC handling  in Europe and  we look forward  to 
assisting fastjet  in building  up  this model  in  Africa, supported  by  our 
knowledge and  processes.  This  partnership includes  all  of  the  logistics 
challenges involved in setting up a network of ground handling operations  and 
management systems, representing  a new type  of relationship between  service 
provider and  airline  and  offering  a great  opportunity  for  Swissport  to 
continue to build its network in Africa in partnership with fastjet."



fastjet Chief Executive Officer Ed Winter commented:



"Swissport has a world-leading reputation and track record for providing  high 
quality ground services to  airlines around the world.  fastjet is creating  a 
pan-continental African airline  offering international  standards of  safety, 
quality, security and reliability and it is therefore essential for us to have
a handling partner that gives these  qualities top priority and one that  also 
matches our ambitious growth plans for Africa."





For media enquiries please contact:



UK media - Citigate Dewe
Rogerson Tel:
+44 (0) 20 7638 9571



Angharad Couch

Patrick Donovan

Chris Barrie

Eleni Menikou



Africa Media - Africa Practice
 Tel: +254 (0)
20 239 6899



Natalie Maule

Anna Riley

Joan Kiambati

Meg Muigai

Evelyn Njoroge



For investor enquiries please contact:



W.H. Ireland
Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 1666



James Joyce

Nick Field









NOTES TO EDITORS



About fastjet plc



fastjet Plc is the holding company for African airline Fly540, which  operates 
from four bases in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Angola. Fly540 currently has 10
aircraft serving  around  25  domestic  and  regional  destinations,  carrying 
approximately 750,000 passengers per  year with a  strong emphasis on  safety, 
security and reliability.

Following  a   consultancy  assignment   by   easyJet  founder   Sir   Stelios 
Haji-Ioannou's easyGroup focused on determining the feasibility of launching a
European-style low-cost carrier in Africa, we are now preparing for the launch
of fastjet, Africa's  first low-cost  carrier, flying  a modern  fleet of  jet 
aircraft based on the  Fly540 platform of licences  and routes. First  flights 
under the fastjet brand are expected to take place late November, bringing  an 
entirely new flying experience to the African market.

Passenger numbers for the month  of October stood at  51,015, up 26.6% on  the 
same month last year.

fastjet Plc is  quoted on  the London Stock  Exchange's AIM  market. For  more 
information see www.fastjet.com



Significant African Aviation Market Potential

Africa is a growth aviation market with regional and intercontinental  traffic 
both growing  rapidly  as  a  result of  the  continent's  continued  economic 
expansion.  With  over  one  billion  people,  Africa  is  hampered  by  poor 
infrastructure, a lack of roads and railways and long distances between  urban 
populations. The African  aviation market is  significantly underserved  with 
air travel  spending as  a  percentage of  GDP a  fraction  of that  of  other 
emerging markets. With rapid  economic growth and, as  a result, the  growing 
wealth of African citizens, more and more people will be able to benefit  from 
aviation and fly for the first time. Airbus forecasts total passenger  traffic 
in Africa will grow at an average  yearly rate of 5.7% between 2010 and  2030, 
well above the 4.8  per cent world average  growth rateand expects to  deliver 
more than 1,100 new passenger aircraft, 4% of world deliveries, in the next 20
years to satisfy growing  demand. Seven of the  top 10 fastest growing  global 
economies are now in Africa with consumer spending for the continent  forecast 
to reach  US$1.6 trillion  by  2020. A  recent  McKinsey report  (June  2010) 
forecast  that  128  million  households  in  Africa  are  expected  to   have 
discretionary income to spend by 2020,  while 50% of Africans are expected  to 
live in cities by the same date  with urban jobs bringing rising incomes.  The 
McKinsey report concluded that today the rate of return on foreign  investment 
in Africa is higher than in any  other developing region and that early  entry 
into African  economies provides  opportunities to  create markets,  establish 
brands, shape industry structure, influence consumer preferences and establish
long-term relationships.



The Low-Cost Airline Model



The low-cost airline model seeks to attract large numbers of additional
passengers by offering significantly lower fares. The fares need to be low
enough to persuade people who did not previously travel by air to do so, and
others to travel more often. The global experience of launching a low-cost
carrier is that it creates a completely new market rather than a
redistribution of market share in the existing market.













                     This information is provided by RNS
           The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

END


MSCGGBDBIDDBGDR -0- Nov/27/2012 08:00 GMT
 
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