FastJet strengthens management team
FastJet Plc, Africa’s first pan African low cost airline has signed a maintenance contract with a leading aircraft maintenance company and further strengthened its management team ahead of the airline’s planned launch next month.
To this end, FastJet has signed operating lease agreements with Volito Aviation for two Airbus A319s and will take delivery of the aircraft in November, this year. These are the second and third Airbus A319s the company has leased and it remains on track to meet its target of deploying five Airbus A319s in Africa within six months of launch and up to 15 aircraft in a years’ time, according to FastJet Chief Executive Ed Winter.
The airline has also appointed three senior aviation executives to the company’s management team who took their roles last week. They are Rob Bishton, Kyle Haywood and Harun Cordan who are expected to combine their wealth of industry experience with that of the existing FastJet team.
Rob Bishton joins FastJet as Operations Director, based at the airline’s headquarters in Gatwick, London. Rob previously worked for easyJet where he spent two years as Chief Pilot and Head of Aircraft Operations. Prior to joining easyJet, Rob was Director of Flight Operations at Astraeus Ltd. Kyle Haywood, former Chief Executive of Air Uganda, joins FastJet as General Manager of Africa. Having worked in the airline industry for over 25 years, Kyle has previously held senior positions at Air Arabia, Gulf Air and British Airways.
Former Ryanair executive Harun Cordan assumes the role of Group Chief Pilot and Head of Flight Operations. Prior to joining FastJet, Harun held a number of positions at the Irish low cost carrier, including Chief Instructor and Deputy Head of Training.
Commenting on the aircraft leases and recent management hires, FastJet Chief Executive Ed Winter said: “Signing two further aircraft to our fleet and securing delivery in November puts us firmly on track to launch FastJet next month at our first base in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. I am also delighted to be welcoming three top aviation executives to the FastJet team. Between them they bring over 50 years of operational experience from across the sector and they are important strategic hires for us ahead of launch and our inaugural flight in just a few weeks.”
Meanwhile, FastJet entered into an exclusive service contract with Swissport International Ltd under which Swissport will provide ground handling and related management services to FastJet across its operations. Swissport provides ground services at 195 airports in 38 countries on five continents, and was named Global Aviation Ground Services company 2012.
Following a competitive tender process, FastJet also awarded a five year contract to Sabena technics to provide maintenance support for the airline’s fleet of Airbus A319s.
Sabena technics, a leading independent provider of aircraft maintenance services, will provide FastJet with engineering services and comprehensive material support for componentsand consumables. It will also establish local operations at FastJet’s first base in Dar es Salaam, to provide line and light maintenance services.
Rodolphe Marchais, Chairman& CEO of Sabena technics said: “We are very proud that FastJet has selected us to assist it in the launch and development of its operations, Sabena technics’ experience and know-how in full support solutions means that FastJet can depend on us to deliver a reliable service from the start. We look forward to supporting FastJet’s future expansion into other African countries and thereby grow our maintenance service portfolio with other customers in the region.”
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