Saturday, July 7, 2012

► GHANA: FastJet aims for October launch with five A319s.

FastjetRubicon Diversified Investments PLC, parent company of soon-to-be TransAfrican LCC FastJet, has announced that the Airbus A319 has been selected for the airline's fleet with 5 expected to be leased for the first six months of operations, and 15 to be added within a year of launching, which is scheduled for October of this year.

In June, Rubicon announced  the successful completion of its deal with Lonrho Aviation and its airline Fly540, providing the merged group with existing aviation platforms and therefore easier access to already established markets, in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Angola. 

Said Rubicon Chief Executive Ed Winter: 
"The decision to launch FastJet with the Airbus A319 enables us to expand rapidly with each aircraft potentially carrying around 250,000 passengers a year.  Rubicon expects passenger capacity to double from current levels within six months of the introduction of the A319 fleet.
"We plan to add at least five leased Airbus A319 aircraft to the fleet within six months of launch and up to 15 within a year."

FastJet A319 livery
FastJet A319 rendering.
Fleet uniformity is an important concept in the LCC model, as commonality of type allows for lower maintenance costs (as opposed to a fleet consisting of various types and makes of aircraft) thereby translating into lower fares. 

As per the original deal, fleet maintenance is to be carried out in Europe with a "major European MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) company" said to have won that particular contract.

No clues as yet have been given as to which destinations will be served first, as FastJet is still negotiating with various African governments over incentives and reduced passenger taxes; issues that play a big part in determining where FastJet plays its first card.