London Stock Exchange
Fastjet Plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigeria’s Red1 Airways Ltd, to create a low cost airline operating within Nigeria and to destinations across Africa. The airline will be branded Fastjet Nigeria.
Fastjet Plc is quoted on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market and is the holding company for African airline Fly540, which operates in Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Angola.
Flights under the Fastjet brand commenced in Tanzania November 2012, and the airline has rapidly gained the confidence of its customers. Right from the commencement date to March 2013, Fastjet and its subsidiaries carried almost 800,000 passengers, 50 per cent more than a year previously, and 99.2 per cent of its flights left on time with no cancellations.
Red1 Airways Limited is a Nigerian commercial aviation business and airline holding company based in Abuja, Nigeria. The company’s goal is to significantly increase the size of the Nigerian air transport market, by stimulating demand for air travel from road travellers and attracting value conscious air travellers to fly more often.
The airline is still in the process of obtaining an Airline Operating Certificate (AOC) and finalising plans to start a low-cost airline operation to service Nigeria and the rest of Africa from Nigeria. Its focus will be to create a short haul route network while operating on three customer focused strategies: market stimulation, stringent cost controls and capacity utilisation.
The MoU brings together Fastjet’s reputation, management experience and economies of scale, and Red1’s extensive local market knowledge within Nigeria. The MoU revealed that the capital required for this venture will be the responsibility of Red1 Airways Ltd, while Fastjet Plc will have a minority shareholding in Fastjet Nigeria.
Since launching in Tanzania in November 2012, Fastjet Plc has established itself as a provider of safe, reliable and high quality air travel in Africa and it intends to bring this same level of service to Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria.
The Fastjet Nigeria management team will be led by Red 1, which will oversee day to day operations, while the Fastjet Plc management team will bring its extensive experience and expertise of the low-cost airline industry to the partnership. Operating within Fastjet’s growing Pan-African organisation the partnership is planned to provide Fastjet Nigeria with an extensive distribution network. Red1 will convert existing road travellers by offering comparable fares to travel by air.
The CEO of Fastjet Plc, Ed Winter, commenting on the news stated, “The combination of Fastjet’s brand and experience and Red1’s extensive knowledge of the local aviation market and Nigerian business landscape is a perfect foundation for a great airline. The Nigerian people deserve a new airline offering great value and operating to international standards of safety and reliability.”
On the other hand, CEO of Red 1, Dikko Nwachukwu, added that “We are excited to partner Fastjet and humbled to be working on bringing Nigeria its first true Low Cost Carrier. “At Red 1 our motto is “now every1 can fly” and we aim to make air travel affordable so more Nigerians can choose to travel by air.
“Our experienced management team has spent 10 years fine tuning the business plan and waiting for the right opportunity to meet the increasing demand for affordable air travel in Nigeria. The time has now come to partner Fastjet and seek to provide Nigeria with a world class low cost carrier,” he added.