African budget carrier Fastjet agrees $10m cash lifeline

African budget carrier Fastjet agrees $10m cash lifeline

African budget carrier Fastjet has received a lifeline with a $10 million cash injection.

The airline also aims to raise a further $2 million through a share offer.

The funds are expected to provide sufficient working capital for the remainder of 2018.

The development emerged just days after Fastjet warned that it faced going out of business without an urgent capital injection.

Shares in the airline, backed by easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, dived following Wednesday’s announcement which revealed that Fastjet had just $3.3 million in cash.

Mark Hurst, chief executive of the carrier’s largest shareholder Solenta Aviation, which is backing the fund raising, is joining the board of the airline as a non-executive director from July 2.

He will be work closely with chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout on an ongoing basis.

Hurst will also be responsible for the country management of Fastjet’s Zimbabwe and Mozambique operations.

Beyond the latest financing, the carrier said it plans to explore financing and/or joint venture options in South Africa to support a full-scale entry into the country – the largest aviation market in Africa.

Bezuidenhout said: “Today’s capital raising will give Fastjet the adequate headroom it needs for the remainder of 2018.

“Although there were some unexpected headwinds in 2017, the stabilisation plan put in place by the board has significantly reduced the cost base of the company and right-sized the business.

”Trading in the year to date has been in line with market expectations and the company is now well-positioned to capitalise on future growth.”

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