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Fastjet ready to tackle SAA and Africa

Jun 14 2013 10:30 Reuters
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Johannesburg - The low cost African airline Fastjet announced on Friday that it would temporarily shelve plans to launch domestic routes in South Africa to focus on rolling out international flights from Tanzania.

The African start-up airline, backed by easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, had been granted permission to launch international flights from Tanzania to South Africa, Zambia and Rwanda.
However, the company said it had decided to put the launch of Fastjet-branded domestic routes in South Africa temporarily on hold to focus on launching international services as soon as possible.

"We remain totally committed to launching the Fastjet brand in South Africa as soon as possible," Ed Winter, Fastjet's chairman and chief executive, said.

"We have taken the sensible decision to prioritize setting up these lucrative and high profile routes first, before turning our attention to launch the Fastjet brand on domestic routes in South Africa."

Fastjet would soon announce launch dates for flights to Johannesburg, Kigali and Lusaka from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

The airline has ambitions plans to become the first pan-African low-cost carrier.

It was created following the acquisition of African airline Fly540, and operates from four bases in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Angola.

The airline, which has 10 aircraft serving around 25 destinations within Africa, said it had agreed to create a low-cost airline operating within Nigeria and across Africa with Nigeria's Red 1 Airways.

Fastjet also said it had signed a new three year equity financing agreement for up to £15m (about R233m) with Darwin, a subsidiary of Henderson Global Investors Volantis Capital, after having drawn 1.13 million pounds from its existing facility.

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