Tanzania’s low-cost carrier, Fastjet Tanzania is planning to severe links with its UK’s parent company after six years of being in the red

Fastjet Plc. CEO Nico Bezuidenhout recently issued a red alert on the company over mounting debts and inability to fund its day-to-day operations.

Fastjet
  • On Tuesday, the six-year-old airline company sent its clearest signal yet of disengaging from Fastjet Plc, after it appointed Mr. Lawrence Masha as its first executive chairman
  • Since it entered the Tanzanian airspace, the budget career has carried more than 2.5 million passengers in Tanzania alone.

On Tuesday, the six-year-old airline company founded in November 29, 2012, sent its clearest signal yet of disengaging from Fastjet Plc, after it appointed Mr Lawrence Masha as its first executive chairman. He will be tasked with quickly overseeing a turnaround strategy that includes making the airline wholly owned by Tanzanians.

“Mr Masha will be working closely with the company’s management team to oversee the smooth operation of the airline and the (equity) buyout which is currently in progress,” Fastjet Tanzania general manager, Mr Derrick Luembe, said in a statement seen by The Citizen.

Mr. Masha, a former cabinet minister who is also a minority shareholder in the airline comes onboard in a move aimed at steadying the airline from operational crosswinds.

“As a former minister for Home Affairs, deputy minister for the then ministry of Energy and Minerals and managing director of Tanzania Oxygen Limited, the board has confidence that under his stewardship the airline will grow stronger,” added Mr Luembe.

Details of the plan by Fastjet Tanzania to purchase all stake from the mother company is expected to be made public on Thursday November 9, 2018 at a planned briefing of the media.

“We are optimistic that Mr Masha’s experience in various sectors will help us attain our set goals,” said Mr Luembe.

The airline, which currently runs a fleet of two Embraer E190 aircraft flying between Dar es salaam and Mwanza, Mbeya, Kilimanjaro, Lusaka and Zimbabwe has been on the red for years and recently exited the Kenyan air space faster than expected, as a result majority of shareholders feel it is untenable to continue bailing out the loss making company.

He said they were considering closing the Tanzania operations should shareholders not urgently pump in more liquidity.

Fastjet Plc announced half-year operational loss of $14.6 million (over TSh33 billion, Ksh1.47 billion) in June as opposed to $13.2 million over the same period last year.

The company planned to raise $44 million (Over TSh100 billion, Ksh1.95 billion) last year September but only managed $28 million.

Since it entered the Tanzanian airspace six years ago, the budget career has carried more than 2.5 million passengers in Tanzania alone and records an average of 30,000 passengers on a monthly basis.

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