Posted on: 14 November 2014 by Mark Howells
fastjet plc has reported that fastjet Zambia Ltd has received an Air Service Permit (ASP) from the authorities in Zambia, a major step towards launching fastjet operations to both domestic and international destinations within and from Zambia.
The fastjet Zambia team is now focused on continuing the submission of the necessary documents and manuals to complete the application process for an Air Operating Certificate (AOC) which will then allow operations to start.
Ed Winter, chief executive officer and interim chairman of fastjet plc, commented, "We have been working tirelessly to roll out the fastjet model across the region and obtaining the ASP in Zambia is a really positive step forward. We still have to obtain the full AOC, but this vote of confidence from the authorities is a major step along that road.
"Timescales before the first flight will be dependent on the time taken for the authorities to review the AOC application documents. We look forward to going on sale and commencing operations in Zambia once that process has been completed,” Winter added.
Zambia will be fastjet's second base from which it plans to operate low-fare flights to various destinations in East and Southern Africa. The airline believes that prices on regional routes from Zambia are currently very high – especially so where a monopoly operator controls the route.
Additionally, fastjet plc has announced that it has received permission from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority to operate flights from Uganda to Juba, Nairobi, Kigali and Johannesburg under "5th Freedom" rights using Tanzanian based aircraft. Once the authorities in the relevant countries provide their approvals, fastjet Tanzania will be able to offer flights linking Entebbe with these destinations.
fastjet began operations from Dar es Salaam to Entebbe on the 16 September, and added additional flights in October.
Meanwhile in Tanzania, the company has signed an agreement to enable Tanzanian participation in the ownership of fastjet Airlines Limited, its Tanzanian based airline (fastjet Tanzania).
fastjet plc and fastjet Tanzania have entered into an agreement with Enterprise Growth Market Advisors Limited (EGMA) for the purpose of selling an interest in fastjet Tanzania to Tanzanian investors. As part of that agreement, fastjet Tanzania issued 835 shares in its share capital (the Tanzania Shares) to fastjet International Limited, a company incorporated in Tanzania (fastjet Holdco), which is in turn is owned by four Tanzanian nationals including Ami Mpungwe, George Carmichael Theobald, John Corse and Sophia Rwegellera (the Tanzania Shareholders).
fastjet Tanzania also issued a further 17 shares in fastjet Tanzania to each of Ami Mpungwe and Lawrence Masha, the two Tanzanian non-executive directors of fastjet Tanzania, being 34 shares in total and representing 2% of its enlarged share capital. The issue of these shares brings the total Tanzanian legal and beneficial ownership of fastjet Tanzania to 51%.
As a consequence of these changes fastjet Tanzania is expected to benefit from entry into new markets and have greater access to more international African destinations through the various Bilateral Air Service Agreements to which Tanzania is a party.