The boss of struggling African budget carrier Fastjet is to stand down after three years.

Chef executive Nico Bezuidenhout will leave at the end of September.

The announcement of his departure came just days after the airline reported a widening loss of $27.6 million for 2018 but forecast a move into the black this year.

The carrier, originally backed by easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, will be headed by deputy CEO Mark Hurst until a permanent replacement CEO is appointed.

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Fastjet chairman Rashid Wally said: “I would like to thank Nico for his efforts, dedication and time invested over the last three years in favour of fastjet and its shareholders.

“The Fastjet of today is a fundamentally different business compared to three years ago and we wish Nico well in his future endeavours.

“We are delighted to have someone of Mark’s calibre already on the board.

“Mark will be focused on continuing to consolidate Fastjet’s position in its core markets as well as explore other opportunities for growth.”