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Fastjet to expand into Kenya

Originally published on businesstraveller.com 28/01/2013   RSS

African low-cost carrier Fastjet has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to launch a joint venture with Kenyan airline, Jetlink, allowing the young carrier to extend into Kenya.

According to Fastjet, Jetlink was launched in 2004 and has traffic rights to all domestic destinations in Kenya, as well as a number of regional destinations. The carrier has been suspended since November last year due to a restructuring process.

Fastjet chief executive officer Ed Winter said, “This project represents a great opportunity for both parties and discussions are progressing well. A joint venture between Fastjet and Jetlink will facilitate the launch of the Fastjet brand in Kenya within the next few months with immediate access to domestic and regional destinations.”

The MOU is still subject to conditions and approvals from the board and any other necessary body.

The Tanzania-based airline has also confirmed plans to launch its first international routes (see online news January 18) and the potential purchase of South African airline 1 Time (see online news December 19).

Fastjet has issued a statement regarding the recent contentious purchase of African low-cost carrier Five Forty Aviation, which reads: “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 July 24, 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 [now Fastjet] would pay Mr Smith a further sum of US$7m. The purchase of Five Forty Aviation Limited has been fully consummated.”

A spokesperson for Five Forty Aviation has issued a statement in response, which reads:

“The $6.8m claim is for repayment of monies that were underwritten by Five Forty Aviation in supporting Lonrho Aviation’s businesses in Africa. Under the acquisition agreement, Lonrho Aviation (now Fastjet) agreed to pay off this bank debt. To date, they have not done so. This money is not owed to any individual or executive of Five Forty Aviation.”

For more information visit fastjet.com.

Report by Scott Carey

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