African low-cost carrier Fastjet posts first profitable month

African low-cost carrier Fastjet posts first profitable monthAfrican low-cost carrier Fastjet posted its first profitable trading month in December as it flew its millionth passenger since starting services in November 2012.

The move into the black came as the airline saw strong demand for its services during the busy holiday season and benefited from low fuel prices.

Yield per passenger rose 20% compared to December 2013 with total revenue for the month up 106 % year on year.

The contribution generated by the airline’s main Tanzanian operations was sufficient to create an underlying operating profit for the month at the group level.

Fastjet operations in Tanzania carried a total of 65,653 passengers, a 75% rise on December 2013, with a load factor up two percentage points to 76% percent.

The fuel price in January will provide a further 13% reduction on December prices.  The carrier expects further reductions in February and March as the recent falls in the price of crude oil continue to flow through to African aviation fuel supplies.

“Although fastjet operates fuel-efficient modern Airbus 319 aircraft, fuel represents a very significant percentage of its direct operating costs. As such, the fall in the price of oil delivers a large direct cash benefit to the airline,” the carrier said.

Interim chairman and chief executive Ed Winter said: “The announcement of our first profitable trading month is a great achievement and a huge milestone on the road to becoming the first pan-African low-cost airline.

“We have already proven that the low-cost model works to stimulate traffic and we have now shown that it can create a profitable business.

“The Tanzanian fleet of three aircraft is now producing more than double the monthly revenue compared to a year ago.

“This higher utilisation, combined with higher per passenger revenues and lower fuel prices, has been transformational for the business.”

However, the number of flights operating has been reduced in the first quarter of 2015 to match capacity to expected demand and reduce costs in what is traditionally a relatively low demand flying period.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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