Friday, June 14, 2013

► NIGERIA: fastjet to enter Nigerian market via tie-up with Red 1 Express.

fastjetfastjet plc (fastjet) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigeria's Red 1 Airways Ltd (Red 1), to create a low-cost airline operating within Nigeria and to destinations across Africa. The MoU brings together fastjet's strong brand, reputation, management experience and economies of scale, and RED 1's extensive local market knowledge within Nigeria.  The airline will be branded fastjet Nigeria strongly mimicking the airline's planned South African venture.

The capital required for this venture will be the responsibility of Red 1. fastjet plc will have a minority shareholding in fastjet Nigeria. A commercial arrangement will exist between Red 1 and fastjet for the provision of the fastjet Brand, Operational Framework and Management Services. Fastjet will provide further details on the signing of binding contracts.

The fastjet Nigeria management team will be led by Red 1, who will oversee day-to-day operations, while the fastjet plc management team will bring its extensive experience and expertise of the low-cost airline industry to the partnership. Operating within fastjet's growing pan-African organisation the partnership is planned to provide fastjet Nigeria with an extensive distribution network.

Commenting on today's news, fastjet CEO Ed Winter said:
"The combination of fastjet's brand and experience and Red 1's extensive knowledge of the local aviation market and Nigerian business landscape, is a perfect foundation for a great airline. The Nigerian people deserve a new airline offering great value and operating to international standards of safety and reliability."
Red 1 CEO Dikko Nwachukwu added:
"We are excited to partner with fastjet and humbled to be working on bringing Nigeria its first true Low Cost Carrier.  At Red 1 our motto is "now every1 can fly" and we aim to make air travel affordable so more Nigerians can choose to travel by air. Our experienced management team has spent 10 years fine-tuning the business plan and waiting for the right opportunity to meet the increasing demand for affordable air travel in Nigeria. The time has now come to partner with fastjet and seek to provide Nigeria with a world-class low cost carrier."
For its part, Red 1 was founded in 2003 by Chief Executive Officer, the former director of Zenith Air, Captain Dikko Nwachukwu, and had originally planned to begin LCC Nigerian operations in 2009 using six ATR72-500s and backed up by USD100million in capital.