Wednesday, June 12, 2013

■ UNITED KINGDOM: fastjet boss David Lenigas resigns.

fastjetDavid Lenigas has resigned as chairman of struggling Tanzanian LCC, fastjet (FN) with immediate effect and has been replaced by Chief Executive Officer, Ed Winter, on an interim basis, until a permanent successor is found. 

While the exact conditions under which Mr Lenigas stepped down are still unknown, he did pay tribute to his management team and the airline as a whole.
David Lenigas
"I see a very bright future for a low-cost airline on the continent of Africa. fastjet has the right model to succeed and it almost goes without saying that I wish fastjet all success. I believe that the company has one of the finest airline management teams anywhere in the world. Their considerable early achievements in route development, capacity utilisation, customer satisfaction and community relations pay testament to this.  This is a time of transition for fastjet both operationally and in terms of shareholder structure as its major shareholder, Lonrho, is likely to have a new owner in the coming weeks as a result of the current offer for Lonrho.  It therefore seems to be a good time for me to step down to pursue my other interests and handover the reins as fastjet moves to the next stage of growth."
Mr Lenigas leaves at a critical juncture in time for fastjet, now set to take on a new owner after Lonrho, its previous one, agreed to a GBP175million takeover by Swiss investment group, FS Africa in May.

In addition, Mr Winter, and any possible successor, will now have to contend with the airline's shaky financials, after company auditor KPMG stated there was a “material uncertainty which casts significant doubt on the group’s and the parent company’s ability to continue as a going concern” following its posting of a pre-tax  loss of EUR55.3million for its first 18 months in operation up to the end of 2012.