Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Sir Stelios to launch Fastjet in Africa

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has announced that he is to bring his brand of low cost travel to Africa. The airline will operate under the Fastjet brand which was launched in September. The popular entrepreneur will take a 5% stake in the venture which will be funded by Rubicon, a London based investment fund. His stake in the venture could rise to 10% if the brand is to grow and be established for 10 years.

When Fastjet was created it was seen to be a direct rival to easyJet with whom Haji-Ioannou is having a fractional relationship despite owning 38% of the budget carrier. It was foolish of those including myself to think that Haji-Ioannou would bite the hand that has paid him handsomely and the move into Africa could be a masterstroke.

Commenting on the move, Sir Stelios said: "Africa must now represent the final frontier of this aviation revolution, which started in the US in the 70s and which I was proud to have led in Europe in the 90s."

Haji-Ioannou will receive £80,000 per month from Rubicon for his expertise. The move by Rubicon will not be completely new as the venture will be run with Lonrho who already control the African airline Fly540 and a stake in the market.

The move is likely to earn Sir Stelios further revenue as Lonrho have already signed up to use easyHotel brand on a chain of 50 hotels to be opened across Africa by 2016.