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Fastjet suspends flights in Angola, scales back on Ghana

Low cost carrier Fastjet announced today that it is suspending operations in Angola as part of internal restructuring aimed at focusing attention on east and southern Africa. One ATR turboprop in Ghana will be sold though Fly540 Ghana will continue operations with a leased aircraft.

A Fly540 ATR 42-300. Photo by Andrew Thomas.

A Fly540 ATR 42-300. Photo by Andrew Thomas.

Fastjet took over Fly540 operations in Tanzania, Angola and Ghana in 2012. Kenya was to be included in the deal, but this did not happen due to legal disputes with the management of Fly540 Kenya. In the meantime, Fastjet-branded flights were launched in Tanzania in November 2012.

While the Tanzanian operation has grown, the Angola and Ghana operations have proved more challenging for Fastjet. The airline has now decided to concentrate its resources in eastern and southern Africa where it has three domestic destinations in Tanzania and two regional destinations from Dar es Salaam.

“We are currently focused on expanding the low cost Fastjet network by establishing bases in Zambia, Kenya and South Africa and these plans are progressing well,” says Fastjet’s CEO and interim chairman Ed Winter.

As a key part of the restructuring, two group-owned ATR aircraft previously operating in Angola and Ghana have been taken out of service and are currently in the process of being sold. The Angolan operation has been temporarily suspended while a leased aircraft continues to operate in Ghana.

Fastjet however plans a return to the two countries. “Our overall vision is to create a pan-African low-cost network and, as such, launching the low cost Fastjet model in both Angola and Ghana remains firmly part of the company’s long-term plans,” says Winter.

Last December, Winter said that Fastjet is still keen to fly into Kenya despite earlier legal disputes that have since been put to rest.

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