Fastjet

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Fastjet Plc
Public
Industry Airline
Headquarters Gatwick Airport, United Kingdom
Key people
Clive Carver (Executive Chairman)
Nico Bezuidenhout (CEO)
Lisa Mitchell (CFO)
Richard Bodin (COO)
Revenue Increase US$65.1 million
(2015)
Increase US$ -37.9 million
(2013/14)
Subsidiaries Fastjet Tanzania
Fastjet Zimbabwe
Website fastjet.com

Fastjet Plc (LSE:FJET) is a British-based holding company for a group of low-cost carriers that are, or are expected to be, operating in Africa. The company's stated aim is to become the continent's first low-cost, pan-African airline, and the operation was initially created with the acquisition of Fly540, an airline operating in East Africa; flights in Fastjet's own name commenced in November 2012 in Tanzania.[1] In order to satisfy local ownership and other requirements, the current strategy is to create locally incorporated airlines to operate services using a common branding, operational standards and sales platform.

The initial operation is now run as Fastjet Tanzania, and Fastjet Zimbabwe commenced flights in October 2015. Although Fastjet Zambia was at an advanced planning stage, in April 2016 it was announced that progress was being deferred until at least the final quarter of 2016.[2]

History[edit]

Initial proposals[edit]

While originally thought to be competing with easyJet,[3] it was later claimed by The Daily Telegraph that Fastjet was planned to be a transatlantic long-haul airline.[4]

It was eventually revealed that Fastjet was a proposed low-cost African airline, and that an agreement had been signed with Rubicon Investments.[5]

By June 2012 the plans had become clearer. To start the operations, Rubicon Diversified Investments Plc (later renamed Fastjet Plc) completed the acquisition of Lonrho's airline division for a transaction value of US$85.7m, satisfied by the issue of Rubicon ordinary shares to Lonrho. Key shareholders in the enlarged company would be Lonrho and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, through his easyGroup Holdings Limited (“easyGroup”). The airline division acquired included the African regional airline Fly 540, operating in Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, which would form the platform for the development of a low cost carrier for Africa, branded ‘Fastjet’ under the terms of the easyGroup brand licence agreement.

Commencement of operations[edit]

The airline chose Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as its first operating base in Africa, with flights from Julius Nyerere International Airport commencing on 29 November 2012. Initially flights operated successfully between Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro, and between Dar es Salaam and Mwanza. Further routes were to be added quickly, both domestically and to other East African destinations,[6] and FastJet said it would move its operation office from Tanzania to Kenya, once it has approval to operate in Kenya.[7] Once established in East Africa, FastJet also had plans to launch in Ghana and Angola, other Fly540 areas of operation, but all these expansion plans appear to have become embroiled in a public dispute between Fastjet and the original Fly540 management regarding outstanding debts and validity of operating licences.[8] In May 2014 Fly540 Ghana and Fly540 Angola were both shut down as they were incompatible with the Fastjet low cost model.[9][10]

Expansion of services[edit]

As well as expanding services from the base in Tanzania, in October 2015 the company obtained an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) for Zimbabwe,[11] and announced its plans to launch fastjet Zimbabwe. The initial flights between its base at Harare International Airport to Victoria Falls commenced on 28 October 2015,[12] and flights to Johannesburg commenced from 1 February 2016.[13]

Restructuring[edit]

With troubled operations and continued losses, majority shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou through his holding in EasyGroup successfully changed the board of fastjet Plc with the departure of six board members in a short period of time. Ed Winters was replaced by Nico Bezuidenhout who left rival low cost airline MangoSA and assumed office on 1 August 2016.[14] The CEO promised to revive the ailing airline by restructuring its fleet and moving the headquarters to Africa.

With many of the A319 leases due by September 2016, Nico Bezuidenhout recommended that the airline switch to using Embraer E190s by the start of October 2016. Bezuidenhout also declared in September 2016 that the headquarters will be moving from London Gatwick Airport to Johannesburg.[15]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Ownership[edit]

Fastjet (FJET:LSE) is traded on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM). After their initial involvement, Lonrho Plc disposed of their shares in Fastjet by 14 November 2013.[16] In April 2014 Fastjet completed a successful $25 million Open Offer.[17] EasyGroup retains a major stake in the company, holding over 10% of shares.

Current disclosable interests (of 3% or more) in ordinary shares (as at December 2015)[18] were:

Shareholder Shares Interest
M&G Investment Management 9,803,436 014.76%
EasyGroup 7,186,754 010.82%
Majedie Asset Management 4,551,410 06.85%
J.O. Hambro Capital Management 4,550,000 06.85%
The Mako Europe Fund Ltd, Oxburgh Partners 3,639,000 05.48%
Hargreaves Lansdown (EO) 2,759,634 04.15%
Henderson Global Investors 2,500,000 03.76%
GAM 1,990,700 03.00%
Other investors 29,441,163 44.33%
Total 66,422,097 100.00%

Business trends[edit]

Fastjet Group results are shown below (as at year ending 31 December). Fastjet began trading under its own name on 29 November 2012, and financial results for 2011 are not relevant as the Fly540 business was not acquired until 29 June 2012; financial results below for 2012 for Fastjet were for the 18-month period ended 31 December 2012. The company and group report in US Dollars.

Because Fastjet ran operations in various countries as Fly540, for comparative purposes the table below also shows separate operational figures for the original businesses, and for the Fastjet activities (in Tanzania and Zimbabwe).

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Turnover (US$ m) n/a 21.1 53.4 53.8 65.1
Profits/losses after tax (US$ m) n/a −55.9 −80.9 −72.1 −21.9
Number of employees (average) 8 371 436 271 n/a
Fastjet operations
Number of passengers (m) 0 0.03 0.37 0.60 0.79
Passenger load factor (%) - 78.9* 72.0 73.3 66.7
Number of aircraft (at year end) 0 3 3 3 6
Fly540 operations
Number of passengers (m) 0.45 0.67 0.62 n/a 0
Passenger load factor (%) 62.0* n/a n/a n/a -
Number of aircraft (at year end) 4 n/a n/a 0
All operations
Number of passengers (m) 0.45 0.70 0.99 0.60 0.79
Passenger load factor (%) 62.0* 71.8* 72.0 73.3 66.7
Number of aircraft (at year end) 7 n/a 3 6
Notes/sources *Dec only
[19]
*Dec only
[20]
[21] [22] [2]

Head office[edit]

Fastjet Plc has its registered office and head office at Suite 2C in First Point on the grounds of London Gatwick Airport in Crawley, England.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Start of flight operations (in German)
  2. ^ a b "Final Results for the year ended 31 December 2015" (PDF). Fastjet. Retrieved 2 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Fastjet could leave EasyJet feeling queasy, Financial Times, 2011-09-28
  4. ^ Stelios's Fastjet to take on long-haul market. The Daily Telegraph.
  5. ^ EasyGroup and Rubicon to study Africa airline. Af.reuters.com (5 December 2011).
  6. ^ Fastjet tickets go on sale. Easy.com (13 November 2012).
  7. ^ FastJet shifts focus to East Africa market with Nairobi hub . businessdailyafrica.com (29 November 2012).
  8. ^ "Stock Exchange announcement". 6 February 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Fly 540 to cease operations in Ghana". citifonline. 16 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Restructuring of Fly540 Angola and Ghana". Fastjet plc. 29 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "fastjet granted Air Operator Certificate in Zimbabwe". London Stock Exchange RNS. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "fastjet Zimbabwe's inaugural flight". Fastjet. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "fastjet launches new routes from Zimbabwe". Fastjet. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Mango boss Nico Bezuidenhout parachutes out of SAA". Financial Mail. Retrieved 2016-09-19. 
  15. ^ liezelhill, Liezel Hill (2016-09-19). "Fastjet Drops Airbus Jets for Embraer, Moves HQ to Johannesburg". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-09-19. 
  16. ^ "Lonrho departs fastjet's share register". Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "EasyJet Founder Gets 10% Stake as FastJet is Raising $25 Million in Funding". Skift. 13 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Fastjet - Shareholders". Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  19. ^ "Fastjet passenger statistics". Easygroup. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Results for the 18-month period to 31 December 2012". Fastjet. Retrieved 1 June 2013. [permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "Final Results for the year ended 31 December 2013". Fastjet. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Final Results for the year ended 31 December 2014" (PDF). Fastjet. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "Investor Contacts." (Archive) Fastjet. Retrieved on 7 May 2013. "Registered Office and Head Office fastjet Plc Suite 2C First Point Buckingham Gate Gatwick Airport RH6 0NT"

External links[edit]