Belfast Telegraph

Fastjet chairman quits as loss-making airline seeks more funds

Struggling budget airline fastjet has said it will have to raise fresh funding and also announced the departure of its chairman.

The loss-making airline, which offers budget flights across a number of African countries, only completed its last fundraising in the summer.

But the company said in a trading statement on Friday: "As well as allowing the company to pursue possible synergistic opportunities identified by the CEO, the company needs to raise further capital and expects to initiate a fundraising exercise which it plans to complete in the first quarter 2017."

As a result of the sooner-than-expected fundraising, non-executive chairman Colin Child believes it would "not be appropriate for him to continue in this role".

Mr Child stated: "Although the trading and operational environment has been challenging, I have much enjoyed my time on the fastjet board. I leave the board with an extremely good and experienced CEO in place and I have every confidence that he will successfully complete the stabilisation plan and pursue some exciting strategic initiatives that will allow fastjet to deliver its full potential."

Following his resignation, chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout will assume the role of interim chairman pending the appointment of a new non-executive chairman.

Fastjet said it is continuing to reduce its costs as part of a stabilisation plan, amounting to around 8 million US dollars (£6.4 million), which is expected to provide it with a boost early next year.