Fastjet Zimbabwe will not be shutdown.
Rather, a change of ownership is being considered, which will not impact day-to-day operations.
This is from a spokesperson at fastjet PLC, who was responding to reports following a statement released by fastjet Zimbabwe earlier this month that the disposal of the airline was scheduled for the end of February should shareholders be unable to raise enough capital.
The airline said the company continued to be loss making due to “continued volatility and uncertainty in the Zimbabwean market”. “This is a fastjet board strategy to ensure the continued viability of the airline and the group for the long term,” said the spokesperson.
He said fastjet PLC was in active discussions with several of its main shareholders regarding the various options available, one of which could include the disposal of fastjet Zimbabwe.
“The potential disposal would be made to a consortium of investors, including Solenta Aviation Holdings Limited, fastjet PLC’s largest shareholder today, together with other local Zimbabwean investors.”
A disposal “should solidify the business longer term” as the airline would receive ongoing support by resident shareholders and specialists in Zimbabwe. “Leveraging local investors and support will bring much-needed country-specific experience, knowledge and risk-sharing.”
The final restructuring proposal has not yet been tabled to the board for approval.
Meanwhile, fastjet Zimbabwe launched its inaugural flight from Bulawayo, the second-largest city in Zimbabwe, to Johannesburg on December 5.
The inaugural flight is scheduled to depart Bulawayo’s Joshua Nkomo International Airport at 18h10 and the airline will then operate 22 scheduled flights per week, including double-daily frequencies Monday through Friday with a single flight on Sundays.
“Since the announcement of the new route, we have been overwhelmed with positive sentiment and backing from a wide spectrum of local and international supporters and business leaders, appreciating the economic and social benefits the new route will bring for everyone,” said Joao Sousa, CEO of fastjet Zimbabwe.