FLEET CHANGES AT FASTJET NOW UNDERWAY
(Posted 04th October 2016)
In a change of direction has Fastjet apparently decided to postpone the launch of their Zambia airline for the time being, while concentrating on other more pressing issues at hand.
The airline head office is being shifted from London Gatwick to Johannesburg and a fleet rationalisation exercise is underway, aimed to exchange the relatively costly fleet of Airbus A319 aircraft against smaller but also more cost effective Embraer E190. This aircraft type is joining the Fastjet fleet in Tanzania on an ACMI wetlease before some time in 2017 a final decision will be made and suitable aircraft procured without crews, maintenance and insurance, those items to be taken care of then by Fastjet itself.
A total of three E190 are expected to be deployed out of the airline’s hub in Dar es Salaam and the smaller, more easily to be filled planes are due to yield operational savings between 10 and 20 percent.
The sole A319 owned by Fastjet has also been sold but can apparently be used until way into October while the aircraft transition takes place.
New CEO Nico Bezuidenhout has in the meantime expressed his confidence that the transition plan submitted to the Board of Directors in mid September will yield positive results.
It could not immediately be ascertained if Fastjet is also reviewing routes with less than anticipated returns and passenger numbers though this question is being followed up in coming days.
Most of the expatriate crews have left with the A319’s already returned to the lessors and it is not clear if any of the larger Airbus aircraft will under the new fleet policy remain on the registry of Fastjet.