African low cost airline FastJet has expanded its aircraft fleet, 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.
FastJet has signed operating lease agreements with Volito Aviation for two Airbus A319s and will take delivery of the aircraft in November. 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.
The airline has also appointed three senior aviation executives to the Company’s management team. Taking up their roles today, Rob Bishton, Kyle Haywood and Harun Cordan will combine their wealth of industry experience with that of the existing FastJet team.
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,” he adds.
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.
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.
FastJet has also revealed it has entered into an exclusive service contract with Swissport International under which Swissport will provide ground handling and related management services to FastJet across its operations.Following a competitive tender process, FastJet has also awarded a five year contract to Sabena technics to provide maintenance support for the airline’s fleet of Airbus A319s.
Sabena technics will provide FastJet with engineering services and comprehensive material support for components and consumables. It will also establish local operations at FastJet’s first base in Dar es Salaam, to provide line and light maintenance services.
Commenting on the decision to award FastJet’s aircraft maintenance services contract to Sabena technics, Ed Winter said: “We are delighted to welcome Sabena technics on board at this exciting time in FastJet’s development.
“We are now closer than ever to our goal of bringing a high-quality, reliable, affordable service to the people of Africa and today’s agreement with a leading European Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) company reaffirms our commitment to establishing FastJet as an airline operating to international standards,” he concluded.