("fastjet" or the "Company")
16th January 2014
Operational update - Zambia
fastjet plc is pleased to announce that it is in discussions with the Zambian government with the intention of creating a fastjet operation based in Lusaka.
The Board see the business and political environment in Zambia as very progressive and fastjet's discussions to date with the Zambian government, Tourist Board and other stakeholders have been very positive. The Company believes the establishment of a fastjet operation would bring benefits to the country and Zambian people through the expansion of trade and tourism links as well increase safety and reliability improvements to the Zambian aviation industry.
It is anticipated that the new operation, whilst being distributed and marketed as a part of the pan-African fastjet network, would be a Zambian registered company in which fastjet plc will have a substantial stake.
fastjet will progress its application for an Air Services Licence and Air Operator Certificate as rapidly as possible but this process is likely to take up to six months. In the meantime, fastjet will be bringing its flights to the Zambian people on the Lusaka Dar-es-Salaam route that went on sale recently and has already recorded strong interest and sales.
For media enquiries please contact:
UK media - Citigate Dewe Rogerson Tel: +44 (0) 20 7638 9571
South African media - Tribeca Public Relations Tel: +27 (0) 11 208 5500
Cian Mac Eochaidh
For investor enquiries please contact:
W.H. Ireland Ltd. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 1666
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Zambian Airline industry
There are a number of small, local airlines that the board see as providing unreliable and intermittent services on domestic Zambian routes and fastjet believe there is the need for a dependable airline that can offer good value, high quality and regular services. Key domestic routes that could be served by the fastjet low-cost model are between Lusaka, Ndola and Livingstone. Ndola on the DRC border and in the centre of the copper belt is a key hub which is currently poorly served. On many routes, Zambian people currently have to undertake long and dangerous road journeys. Typical is the route from Lusaka to Dar-es-Salaam, which will be served by fastjet Tanzania from 1st February 2014, where thousands of people per day undertake the 24 hour road journey.
Regional international routes are all provided by non-Zambian airlines, with the key route from Lusaka to Johannesburg being served with seven flights per day by South Africa Airways and its associates. fastjet is confident that its market-stimulating pricing model will grow traffic on these routes substantially.
The Zambian economy provides considerable opportunity. Zambia has a population of over 14 million, 66% of which are under 24 years of age. Whilst landlocked, Zambia has borders with Tanzania, Malawi, DRC, Namibia, Botswana, Angola and Zimbabwe and has significant regional trade links with its neighbours. South Africa is a major trading partner and provider of technical expertise. Zambia is a significant producer of copper with exports to China. The economy is growing substantially with average annual real GDP growth in excess of 6% since 2005.
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. And 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. fastjet plc is also the holding company of Fly540, which operates in Kenya, Ghana and Angola.
The results of a recent 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 recent Drum Marketing Awards in London.
fastjet plc is quoted on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market.
For more information see www.fastjet.com
Posted on 16th January 2014