Fastjet to Commence Operations in October

Fastjet, a new airline that will be offering low-cost services to Africa, is due to be launched in October 2012.

The airline will be operated by Rubicon Diversified Investments, a UK-based holding company, in consultation with Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of Easyjet, a UK-based low-cost airline.

Fastjet has recently entered into an agreement with Airbus to lease A319 aircraft for the launch of its services.

Ed Winter, the chief executive officer of Rubicon Diversified Investments, said, ‘The decision to launch FastJet with the Airbus A319 enables us to expand rapidly with each aircraft potentially carrying around 250,000 passengers a year. Rubicon expects passenger capacity to double from current levels within six months of the introduction of the A319 fleet.

We plan to add at least five leased Airbus A319 aircraft to the fleet within six months of launch and up to 15 within a year.’

Commenting on the agreement, John Leahy, Airbus chief commercial officer customers, said, ‘We are delighted that FastJet has chosen the A319 as the basis for its fleet, a further endorsement for the efficiency and reliability of Airbus’ market leading single aisle family of aircraft.

FastJet will open up low cost travel to the African market, and the Airbus A319 will bring new levels of comfort to air passengers across Africa. It is a great combination.’

David Lenigas, executive chairman of Rubicon and of Lonrho Plc, stated, ‘FastJet has already stated its intent to raise the bar on air safety in Africa by operating its aircraft under the same strict rules that apply to European carriers. To this end, we expect to sign an agreement with a major European MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) company for the maintenance of its new A319 fleet in the coming months.’

FastJet will be operating under a licensing agreement with easyGroup Holdings Limited.