African airline bites the dust

A mandatory announcement in London yesterday confirmed the much speculated over decision the company has taken about an arm of its airlines.

African airline bites the dust

A mandatory announcement in London yesterday confirmed the much speculated over decision the company has taken about an arm of its airlines.

After operations were suspended over a year ago, while at the time restructuring from the Fly540 hybrid business model to a full low-cost model a la Fastjet was considered, it became apparently clear that there was no immediate future for a revival of the airline.

With all hands needed on deck to get the two new Fastjet destinations Zimbabwe and Zambia off the ground – in both countries the audit and certification processes are underway to attain an Air Operator Certificate, in short AOC, which allows for flight operations to commence – in the end, it was a foregone conclusion that West Africa had to go and allow the airline to concentrate on Eastern and Southern Africa.

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Fastjet’s CEO, Ed Winter, when making the announcement that operations of Fly540 Ghana had been suspended, said: “The disposal of Fly540 Ghana is a great step forward in Fastjet’s restructuring plans for our legacy businesses. Whilst West Africa remains of interest to us as a low-cost market in the future, our current focus is on expanding our footprint in Eastern and Southern Africa. Fastjet has retained the right to discuss the introduction of the Fastjet brand in West Africa when it considers the economic conditions and infrastructural environment to be more favorable.”

After the sale of the minority stake in Fly540 Kenya back to the original owners last year, this sale is now the second, aimed to eventually clear the books of legacy debts incurred, when former Fastjet Chairman Lenigas struck his deal with Fly540 Kenya, which included subsidiaries in Ghana, Angola and Tanzania. Lenigas though paid the price for his folly and has since exited from the company, setting the ball rolling towards securing a sounder financial future.

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