fastjet operational update - 8 October 2014

fastjet plc

("fastjet" or the “Company”)

8th October 2014

fastjet operational update

fastjet announces that it has experienced recent operational issues in Tanzania affecting its flight programme. These have now been resolved and normal operations are expected to resume tomorrow.

A combination of bird strikes and maintenance delays has resulted in a number of fastjet flights being delayed and others being cancelled.

fastjet evaluated the possibility of leasing an aircraft to cover the reduction in its fleet but was unable to source a suitable aircraft in the required timeframe.

fastjet aircraft encountered an unprecedented total of four ‘bird strikes’ in two weeks, with two large birds colliding with the nose cone of the aircraft, and two hitting the aircraft engines fan blades.

Safety remains fastjet’s top priority, so following each incident the aircraft were thoroughly inspected and repaired by engineers to be certified before return to operation. In addition to this, a fastjet aircraft on scheduled maintenance (C-check) was delayed in returning to operation due to repairs taking much longer than expected.

The cancellations and delays  have had a minimal impact on either total passenger numbers  or financial results .

Commenting on these events, Ed Winter Chief Executive Officer and interim Chairman said: “We have apologised to all passengers affected by this unfortunate combination of events.  Our staff have done everything possible to take care of and communicate with affected customers.  It is highly unusual to have had four bird strikes in such a short period of time; these coinciding with a maintenance delay compounded the situation.

“Going forward, we are working with the relevant authorities to improve the management of the Mwanza airfield and surrounding areas to reduce the likelihood of bird strikes in the future.  Also, as we execute our plan to add more aircraft to the fleet, we would expect similar circumstances to have a smaller impact on operations.” 

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About fastjet plc

fastjet plc is the holding company of the low cost airline fastjet which commenced flights under the fastjet brand in Tanzania in November 2012.  The airline introduced Airbus A319s into its fleet.  By adhering to international standards of safety, quality, security and reliability; fastjet has brought a new flying experience to the African market at unprecedented low prices. fastjet is implementing the low-cost model across Africa and its long-term strategy is to become the continent's first low-cost, pan-African airline.  The results of a  customer satisfaction survey showed that 100% of customers were likely to recommend fastjet to a friend. In developing its strong brand and identity, fastjet has won and been nominated for a number of awards, including winning three Transform awards for the rebrand and launch of fastjet and the award for "Brand Strategy of the Year" at the  Drum Marketing Awards in London.

fastjet plc is quoted on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market.

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Posted on 8th October 2014