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30 November 2012
("fastjet" or the "Company")
fastjet takes off, achieving a 78% load factor on first day
fastjet, Africa's first low-cost airline, commenced commercial flight operations yesterday, with its first aircraft flying passengers from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, and Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Eight sectors were flown, carrying more than 900 paying passengers and achieving an average booked load factor of 78%. Three of the eight sectors flown exceeded a load factor of 90%.
Future demand for seats on these two initial routes is currently far outstripping supply. Additional flights to these destinations are already being considered, and the Company also intends to expand its route network regionally over the coming weeks as the fleet grows to three Airbus A319s.
Commenting on the success of the first day, fastjet Chief Executive Ed Winter said:
"fastjet is delighted to see how the people of Tanzania are embracing the Low Cost Carrier model. Yesterday was a huge success and a great way to start operations. We are pleased to see reservations and bookings continuing to grow. The demand for this type of air travel has far exceeded the Company's expectations. Yesterday's passengers ranged from business people through to many first time flyers who were using fastjet as an economic alternative to conventional bus transport. Clearly, as predicted, our low cost model is stimulating a whole new market of people to fly."
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About fastjet plc
fastjet Plc is the holding company for African airline Fly540, which operates from four bases in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Angola. Fly540 currently has 10 aircraft serving around 25 domestic and regional destinations, carrying approximately 750,000 passengers per year with a strong emphasis on safety, security and reliability.
Following a consultancy assignment by easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou's easyGroup focused on determining the feasibility of launching a European-style low-cost carrier in Africa, we are now preparing for the launch of fastjet, Africa's first low-cost carrier, flying a modern fleet of jet aircraft based on the Fly540 platform of licences and routes. First flights under the fastjet brand are expected to take place late November, bringing an entirely new flying experience to the African market.
Passenger numbers for the month of October stood at 51,015, up 26.6% on the same month last year.
fastjet Plc is quoted on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market. For more information see www.fastjet.com
Significant African Aviation Market Potential
Africa is a growth aviation market with regional and intercontinental traffic both growing rapidly as a result of the continent's continued economic expansion. With over one billion people, Africa is hampered by poor infrastructure, a lack of roads and railways and long distances between urban populations. The African aviation market is significantly underserved with air travel spending as a percentage of GDP a fraction of that of other emerging markets. With rapid economic growth and, as a result, the growing wealth of African citizens, more and more people will be able to benefit from aviation and fly for the first time. Airbus forecasts total passenger traffic in Africa will grow at an average yearly rate of 5.7% between 2010 and 2030, well above the 4.8 per cent world average growth rate and expects to deliver more than 1,100 new passenger aircraft, 4% of world deliveries, in the next 20 years to satisfy growing demand. Seven of the top 10 fastest growing global economies are now in Africa with consumer spending for the continent forecast to reach US$1.6 trillion by 2020. A recent McKinsey report (June 2010) forecast that 128 million households in Africa are expected to have discretionary income to spend by 2020, while 50% of Africans are expected to live in cities by the same date with urban jobs bringing rising incomes. The McKinsey report concluded that today the rate of return on foreign investment in Africa is higher than in any other developing region and that early entry into African economies provides opportunities to create markets, establish brands, shape industry structure, influence consumer preferences and establish long-term relationships.
The Low-Cost Airline Model
The low-cost airline model seeks to attract large numbers of additional passengers by offering significantly lower fares. The fares need to be low enough to persuade people who did not previously travel by air to do so, and others to travel more often. The global experience of launching a low-cost carrier is that it creates a completely new market rather than a redistribution of market share in the existing market.
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