fastJet passenger numbers rocket in wake of negative press

fastJet's passenger numbers soared 63.8 per cent last month despite a lack of activity following Christmas.

fastJet's passenger numbers soared 63.8 per cent last month despite a lack of activity following Christmas.

Africa's first low-cost airline carried 84,645 people in January across all operations including fastJet Tanzania, Fly540 Kenya, Fly 540 Ghana and Fly540 Angola. That compares to 51,676 passengers held the same month a year earlier.

Load factor, the number of passengers to available seats flown, was 63.1%.

"This is a great performance for just our second month of operations particularly given the seasonal lack of activity following Christmas, which, as expected extended into the month before business activity returned to normal," Chief Executive Officer, Ed Winter said.

"Punctuality for the month was again excellent at 99.7 % with no cancellations. Load factors and forward bookings for February are well ahead of expectations. Having established our reputation for total reliability on Tanzanian domestic routes, we will soon be looking to offer flights to international destinations such as Johannesburg and Entebbe."

The results follow passenger statistics from budget airline rivals easyJet and Ryanair.

Ryanair's numbers fell by 50,000 last month as it grounded 80 aircraft after the Christmas peak flying period. The European airline carried 4.35m customers last month, a 1.0% fall from the previous year. Although the load factor remained constant at 71%.

easyJet, on the other hand, reported a 4.0% increase to 3.8m passengers for the month and a load factor of 84.4%.

The latest data from fastJet comes a day after the airline refuted claims by Don Smith, the Chief Executive Officer of its Kenyan subsidiary, Fly540 Kenya, regarding an alleged unpaid consideration for the purchase of its interest in the business.

The group described the accusations as misleading, false and damaging.

fastJet Chairman, David Lenigas, said: "fastJet is committed to conducting its business in an open, transparent and entirely legal manner through the proper channels. The company does not intend to continue rebutting false allegations through the press, but will take legal action over any further such claims."

Shares in the carrier fell 1.50% to 3.28p at10:40 Friday.

RD

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