fastjet commences commercial flight operations on schedule - 29 November 2012

fastjet plc ("fastjet" or the “Company”)

fastjet, Africa’s first low-cost airline, commenced commercial flight operations today with its first aircraft flying passengers from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza in Tanzania. The fastjet A319 left Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere airport at 6 am (CAT) almost full to capacity; well over half the passengers on board paid USD$20 (excluding taxes and charges) for their seat. The maiden flight marks the official start of fastjet’s commercial operations in Africa; fully on schedule.

Chief Executive Ed Winter personally welcomed passengers on board. A second A319 carrying more fastjet customers on the airline’s second route from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania set off later the same morning.

Travelling on board with passengers, Chief Commercial Officer Richard Bodin said: “I would like to extend a warm welcome to all our new passengers travelling today, a very special day for us. Today’s flights to Kilimanjaro and Mwanza mark the start of a new, revolutionary, smart way to travel for African people, and our first steps towards becoming a low cost, reliable pan-African airline.” Ticket sales for flights on fastjet’s first two routes have been very strong since sales started just over two weeks ago. Seats are being secured well in advance by passengers with bookings into February 2013.

Earlier this week, the launch of fastjet was celebrated at an industry event at Julius Nyerere airport, during which the Honourable Deputy Minister of Transport for Tanzania Charles Tizeba said: "I would like to congratulate fastjet on its decision to choose Tanzania for its first base in Africa in providing low cost domestic and regional air transport services. The Government recognises the need for the low cost air operations and its immense contribution to the development of the air transport industry in the country and the overall development of our economy." fastjet expects its third A319 to arrive in Dar es Salaam next week and will publish monthly passenger figures on its website www.fastjet.com.

 

For media enquiries please contact:

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

Angharad Couch
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 rate and 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.

Posted on 29th November 2012