FastJet is taking this new relationship slow by delaying the launch of Fastjet South Africa despite having taken formal control of Federal Air in October 2018.
The South Africa-based holding said in an LSE filing that plans to launch Fastjet-branded operations in South Africa have now been pushed back to 2020 from the previously announced 2019.
However, ahead of that development, Federal Air has now added one E145 to its operations specifications. This Embraer Regional Jet will then be wet-leased to the group’s Fastjet Zimbabwe subsidiary with effect from July 2019 onwards.
“This allows FedAir to gain its own operational expertise on the ERJ145 fleet and further replaces any long-term support from Solenta Aviation on additional aircraft and crew supply,” it said.
Given the Zimbabwean government’s decision to introduce a new virtual currency, the RTGS dollar, back in January and its immediate devaluation against the US dollar, Fastjet Group has had to restructure its Zimbabwean cost base in order to save on scarce foreign currency. According to the group, it relocated its passenger call centre support function from Cape Town to Harare during the first quarter of this year.
Additionally, it also restructured its head-office support infrastructure in Johannesburg resulting in a labour cost reduction of approximately 30% year-on-year.