Sunday, June 17, 2012

FastJet: New African low-cost carrier

FastJet is a new African low-cost carrier. Founded by the founder of the successful European cut-price carrier easyJet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou. The carrier should commence it´s operatioor starting it´s operations, Rubicon is acquiring the African airline Fly 540, which is based in Kenia and Angola. Fly 540 is currently operating a small mixed fleet of some turboprop an jet aircraft. Fly 540 will then be rebranded as FastJet and transformed in a Low-Cost-Carrier. The current fleet will be replaced by some new jet aircraft, probably Airbus A319. By contract, FastJet will be supported by easyJet in develop their business. In return, easyJet will receive 0.5 percent of the FastJet revenue.

FastJet, styled as an non-frills carrier, will offer much cheaper fares than it competitors and hope to take advantage of the increasing middle class population in Africa. The cheap fares would give them the opportunity to fly instead other kinds of transportation.

The interesting question is how different the business model we be different from the one of easyJet. Will FastJet reach the same level of safety or invest as little as other African carriers in maintenance? How will FastJet get along with Africa and it´s problems like corruption? And of course: Will they have success with the low-cost model in Africa? In the past several trials to establish an budget airline in Africa have failed.

FastJet was announced by the end of 2011, but in the beginning there was no information what this airline would do. Some speculations said, FastJet would offer transatlantic flights.

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