FASTJET CEO CONFIRMS THAT SMALLER JETS ARE COMING BUT REMAINS COY OVER THE TYPE
(Posted 20th September 2016)
Fastjet has just announced the interim, unaudited results for the first six months of 2016, providing an insight into key waypoints during H1 of this year.
· Nico Bezuidenhout appointed CEO on 01st August 2016
· Stabilisation plan addressing routes, fleet, organisation and revenue initiatives implemented
· Successful fund raise in August 2016 of approximately US$20m before expenses
· Revenue on continuing activities up 4.8%
· Negative cash flow from operating activities US$(25.6m) (2015: US$(10.1m))
· Passenger numbers up by 9% on H1 2015 to 398,593 (including fastjet Zimbabwe)
· Aircraft utilisation down by 3% on H1 2015 to 10.1 hours during peak months
· Launch of flights between Harare and Johannesburg
· Named Africa’s Leading Low-Cost Airline 2016 at the World Travel Awards
New CEO Nico Bezuidenhout then took the opportunity to comment on the various aspects of Fastjet’s operation when he said:
‘The first six months of 2016 was a very difficult and challenging time for fastjet. While positive developments included the launch of fastjet flights between Harare and Johannesburg, adverse economic and trading conditions significantly impacted the company’s financial results and passenger numbers. As a result, my focus since being appointed has been to undertake a fundamental review of all aspects of Fastjet’s business model and operations. My immediate priority is to stabilise the business, reduce costs and ensure that we have the correct size of fleet, in terms of both number and size of aircraft. I am pleased to report that this work is beginning to deliver some tangible results. We are relocating Fastjet’s Head Office from Gatwick to Johannesburg (our largest international destination) so as to both reduce costs and be much closer to our home markets. By the end of the year, our existing fleet of five A319 aircraft will be reduced to three and will be replaced by three smaller leased aircraft, an initiative which is expected to lead to a reduction in seat capacity and trip-cost of approximately 15%. We continue to pursue cost-reduction and revenue-generating initiatives and to refine and develop our customer offering and low cost model. Conditions remain very challenging and there is much work to be done. But I am confident that the business is becoming more stable and that we are slowly moving towards a platform from which, in due course, fastjet will be able to consider gradual expansion opportunities and start to deliver on its undoubted potential‘.
No doubt will all eyes now be on the upcoming move of the airline’s offices from London to Johannesburg, who will move along with the ‘furniture and files‘, who will leave and most important, what aircraft type – this correspondent continues to bet on Embraer E190 planes – will be announced in due course.
Meanwhile, happy landings all round.