Fastjet annual losses deepen

Fastjet annual losses deepen

Losses at African low-cost carrier Fastjet deepened last year due to non-profitable discontinued businesses.

The airline recorded a loss of $72 million in the year to December 31, against $55.2 million in 2013. This included $27.7 million related to former loss-making businesses, Fly 540 Angola and Ghana.

Fastjet has subsequently raised £50 million in equity as part of a strategy to create a pan-African budget airline from its base in Tanzania.

Overall revenues for the year more than doubled from $26 million to $53.8 million as passenger carryings grew by 64%.

The airline said: “Three aircraft operating from fastjet's Tanzania base does not provide the levels of income required to cover the costs of building a pan-African low-cost airline.

“Despite the business developing through 2014, as demonstrated by the significant revenue growth achieved, operating losses were expected from continuing operations.”

A fourth aircraft is due to be leased during the third quarter of 2015 as part of plans to build a fleet of 34 aircraft operating to 40 destinations within and from Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and Uganda by the end of 2018.

Chief executive, Ed Winter, said: "2014 has seen a significant increase in the number of passengers travelling on our core Tanzanian routes, with revenue more than doubling.

“Aircraft utilisation grew sharply and average revenue per passenger also climbed with our services such as seat selection proving increasingly popular with customers.

"Strong underlying traffic growth during the year continues to demonstrate that Fastjet's low-cost airline model works in the African market.

“This growth in traffic underpins our belief that people across Africa are increasingly embracing the travel opportunities offered by Fastjet's safe, reliable, and great value product, with a high percentage of first time fliers.

"Fastjet continues on its path of expansion, with new routes in Zimbabwe and Zambia planned in 2015.

“I look forward to this coming year with great confidence as Fastjet leverages its first mover advantage to the benefit of our customers and shareholders."

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