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Africa’s new low-cost carrier FastJet has announced it will launch with the Airbus A319 this October.
The airline, led by easyJet founder and FastJet chairman Stelios Haji-Ioannou, will be leased to holding company Rubicon, which has merged with Lonrho Aviation to create its aviation platform. Lonrho, which already operates in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Angola, owns 74.9% of the London-listed business, while easyGroup owns 5%.
“The decision to launch FastJet with the Airbus A319 enables us to expand rapidly with each aircraft potentially carrying around 250,000 passengers a year. Rubicon expects passenger numbers to double from current levels within six months of the introduction of the A319 fleet,” said Ed Winter, chief executive of Rubicon on the announcement. “We plan to add at least five leased Airbus A319 aircraft to the fleet within six months of launch and up to 15 within a year”.
Airline traffic in Africa is expected to grow at a yearly rate of 5.7% between 2010 and 2030, according to Airbus.