Monday, January 28, 2013

► KENYA: fastjet in talks to "partner" Jetlink Express; refutes allegations it owes money to Fly540 founder.

fastjetJetlink ExpressThe "investors" bankrupt Kenyan regional operator, Jetlink Express (J0), mentioned have turned out to be none other than fastjet (FN). In a scenario that resembles its ongoing battle to acquire defunct South African LCC 1Time (T6), fastjet has mentioned that its interest in Jetlink revolves around the latter "owning the traffic rights for all local destinations, as well as a number of regional routes."

Jetlink Express has been grounded since 16 November due to the inaccessibility of USD2million worth of funds currently locked up in South Sudan. The subsequent cash crunch has grounded the carrier indefinitely despite reports of a potential relaunch by 31 March.

Fastjet Chief executive Ed Winter said discussions to cement a definitive agreement are “progressing well”.
Jetlink ExpressA joint-venture between fastjet and Jetlink will facilitate the launch of the fastjet brand in Kenya within the next few months with immediate access to domestic and regional destinations,” Winter added. Kenya is the major economy in East Africa and launching here is an important step towards fastjet becoming a pan African low cost airline, bringing safe, reliable and affordable air travel to more and more people," he said. “Talks are not yet finalised but we certainly envisage a combination of Jetlink's strengths and fastjet's interest in Fly540 Kenya creating the optimum platform to launch the fastjet brand in Kenya."
Source [fastjet]

In other fastjet related news, the airline has rejected a report that appeared in British paper, The Telegraph, alleging it owes money to one of the founders Five Forty Aviation, the group’s Kenyan subsidiary.

In the report, The Telegraph states that Donald Smith, who set up Fly540 in 2005, alleges that Fastjet has failed to honour a deal to repay USD6.78million of debts that he guaranteed with Chase Bank in Kenya.