("fastjet" or the “Company”)
fastjet, the first pan African low-cost carrier, today announces that ahead of flight operations scheduled for next week, the airline’s first branded Airbus A319 has arrived at its base in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Full approval to operate the aircraft has been granted to fastjet by the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA).
Two more fastjet-branded A319s are planned to be en route early next week, to be in Dar es Salaam in time for the airline’s first flight, scheduled for Thursday 29th November. fastjet’s team of 35 pilots, 65 cabin crew and 7 maintenance specialists are already on the ground actively preparing for launch. In a little over a week since tickets went on sale, fastjet has already taken over 8000 bookings on the first two routes; enough to fill over 60 A319s.
The fastjet.com web site received over 20,000 hits in [its first] 4 days and the mobile site is now live. Commenting on the significant progress, fastjet chairman David Lenigas said: “As expected, plans for fastjet’s official launch of operations are moving ahead right on schedule and we are delighted with the level of interest so far. Demand for seats is high and we are in great shape to start flying next week. We are delighted to have such a solid foundation to build upon.” Further to the Company’s announcement on 24th July 2012, fastjet has now formally entered into the £5 million Equity Financing Facility ("EFF") with Darwin Strategic Limited (“Darwin”), the majority owned subsidiary of Henderson Global Investors' Alphagen Volantis fund.
The EFF covers a three year period. The subscription price of any draw down on the EFF will be at a 5% discount to an agreed reference price determined during 15 trading days immediately following the delivery of a draw down notice. Any exercise of the draw down shall have a volume commitment of a minimum of four times the average daily volume traded in fastjet shares during the 15 days prior to activation, subject to certain restrictions. As part of the EFF the Company has issued a warrant instrument for Darwin to subscribe for up to 2,000,000 ordinary shares, such warrants exercisable over a three year period at a subscription price of 5.3p per ordinary share.
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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 in November, bringing an entirely new flying experience to the African market. fastjet Plc is quoted on the London Stock Exchange. 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 22nd November 2012