Did someone pull a fast one on FastJet?


Warned severally over their choice of partner in East Africa for their attempt to form a Pan African LCC network, FastJet is now paying the price for dismissing out of hand information availed to them at the time, while initially jumping enthusiastically to the defense of their ‘partners’ only to wake up to the reality others saw and knew for a very long time of course. Those executives responsible for these developments will now surely have a case to answer themselves over their naïve if not careless approach, some would perhaps call it even grossly negligent, putting the money of their principals at risk.

Time will tell how that might pan out but here is what others, including the respected Sunday Times have to say about the deal gone sour and the marriage heading to the divorce courts before being fully consummated.

FastJet hit by legal battle over millions
African no frills airline FastJet is embroiled in a legal dispute with an airline firm who claims it owes millions of dollars.
Five Forty Aviation has instructed lawyers to recover $6.8 million for financial support given to Lonrho Aviation, now FastJet.
It says the debt relates primarily to the financial support given to Fly540 Tanzania (the trading name of Five Forty Aviation) as well as branches in Angola, Ghana and elsewhere operated by Lonrho Aviation.
The company claims FastJet agreed to clear debts as part of the sale reports the Sunday Times.
A statement said: "Five Forty Aviation Ltd ("the Company") confirms that it has instructed its lawyers to recover an acknowledged debt of $6.8m from Lonrho Aviation (B.V.I) Ltd, (now operating as FastJet)."
A deal was set up in June 2012 for FastJet to use Lonrho Aviation’s routes and networks, see previous story.
But FastJet say the deal has been fully consummated and nothing is owed.
It said: "Don Smith and his partners have been paid all amounts due to them, a total sum of US$6.75m.
"Mr Smith certified in a document signed by him on 24 July 2012 that, other than specified liabilities as set out in the document, there is no other liability or indebtedness due to him or any entity controlled by him.
"There has never been any agreement that Lonrho Aviation would pay Mr Smith a further sum of US$7m."
The airline said it was planning to launch its first international routes shortly.

Monday, January 28, 2013

As reported on Monday here, FastJet now appears to have signed a Memorandum of Unterstanding with Fly540’s Kenyan rival airline Jetlink, set to form a joint venture and finally enter the lucrative Kenyan domestic and regional market, something which was the initial priority before being derailed by the described problems and compelling FastJet to start up in Tanzania instead, where the aircraft fleet is until now only able to fly between Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Mwanza, reportedly causing them unbudgeted financial losses as a result.

Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from the vibrant, and seemingly adventurous East African aviation market.