FASTJET MEETS DEADLINES AND SECURES REQUIRED FINANCE TO REMAIN IN THE AFRICAN SKIES
(Posted 15th December 2018)
As was reported here yesterday was the 14th of December the last day on which Fastjet PLC was to either secure the release of their new capital injections – after meeting a range of conditions – or else face an uncertain future.
It can now be reported that the company’s management did indeed conclude negotiations and succeeded in having the funds released as a result, keeping the airline in the skies and bringing relief to their many passengers in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Said Nico Bezuidenhout, CEO of the company, in a statement release yesterday evening: ‘This was a positive step forward for the fastjet family and will see much needed support being added to its operations in Zimbabwe and Mozambique‘.
The airline also stated that ‘Fastjet Plc is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed its Equity Refinancing and Open Offer. The Company announced on Thursday evening that it had met the remaining conditions under the Solenta Subscription letter, and that admission of new shares to AIM would take place on Monday 17 December 2018‘.
However, on the downside have, probably in part to meeting the conditionalities attached to the conclusion of these challenges and in part due to the hostile environment created by the Tanzanian authorities, flights between Dar es Salaam, Lusaka and Harare been suspended. The statement released states:
‘Fastjet Airlines Ltd in Tanzania have with immediate effect, temporarily suspended flights operated between Dar es Salaam, Lusaka and Harare until further notice.
The decision to suspend the Dar es Salaam, Lusaka and Harare flights has been made due to operational constraints that the airline is working to resolve. All other flights on the Tanzanian network remain unaffected.
Customers affected by the suspension will be entitled to a full refund subject to the original form of payment. Fastjet extends apologies to all affected guests. Assistance will be provided from the fastjet Call Centre (Monday to Friday 08:30 to 16:30 Central African Time), any fastjet Sales Shop or the customer’s travel agent of choice‘.
It is now all but clear that Fastjet will at full speed develop their business in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and likely take to the skies in South Africa sooner rather than later in 2019. Meanwhile will the new local owners of the Fastjet franchise in Tanzania have to battle it out with their clearly biased regulator and authorities hellbent to tilt the playing field in favour of their own national airline which inspite of a new fleet of Bombardier / Viking Q400’s continues to lose money.