The London-listed pan-African low-cost carrier fastjet is considering the future shape of its fleet, ahead of an imminent launch of both fastjet Zimbabwe and fastjet Zambia, its chief operating officer has revealed.
Speaking to TTG, Richard Bodin confirmed plans were moving ahead for the launch of the airline in both Zimbabwe and Zambia. While he would not be drawn on a launch timetable for either country, he said plans were progressing well.
“Fastjet Zimbabwe is now moving to its final stage. We are moving aircraft down there and preparing with the aviation authority of Zimbabwe. We are putting in place the final plans,” he said.
It is the same story north of the border in Zambia, where fastjet is hoping to launch before the end of 2015.
“Fastjet Zambia also continues to move forward. We are now arranging for inspectors to assist the Zambian Aviation Authority in their approval process,” he said.
The moves into Zimbabwe and Zambia come after fastjet launched its first route to Malawi in July, serving Lilongwe from Tanzania’s Dar Es Salaam. Bodin revealed to TTG that the airline was now considering a second Malawi route to Blantyre, from Tanzania’s largest city.
To support this growth, FastJet is considering options for its fleet. Bodin confirmed that two leased Airbus 319 aircraft are expected to join the fleet this year, to support the moves into Zimbabwe and Zambia.
While all of fastjet’s fleet is currently leased, Bodin does not rule out purchasing aircraft in the future.
“We had a very successful fundraise this year and that has given us the option to increase the fleet with leasing and also procuring aircraft. There is opportunity out there for the right value aircraft at the right price. We are evaluating those options. We are expecting to have a mixed ownership structure – some purchased outright, some leased and some financed.
“Each procurement decision will be based on the right type of aircraft at the right price,” he added.