Africa’s troubled low-cost carrier Fastjet has posted a narrower first-half (H1) loss following “painful” efforts over the past nine months to balance its books.
The airline was rescued from the brink of administration last year at the expense of its operations in Tanzania and now expects to turn a small profit this year.
In a trading update issued on Tuesday (30 July), the airline reported a post-tax loss of US $4.495 million, down from US $14.605 million this time last year.
Revenue, meanwhile, has increased 36% from US $14.5 million to US $19.7 million, largely driven by its acquisition last October of South African airline Fedair, which Fastjet said generated US $5.8 million new revenue, albeit offset by US $5.6 million fresh operating expenses.
The update comes after Fastjet revealed – belatedly – last month a full-year loss of some US $65 million.
Chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout, meanwhile, will leave the business in September after three years to rejoin South African Airways subsidiary Mango, which he founded.
Bezuidenhout said he was pleased with Fastjet’s performance during what is traditionally the weakest period of the year.
“They [the results] illustrate the positive impact the company’s stabilisation efforts have had on financial performance.
“While the stabilisation process, now concluded, was no doubt painful, it is encouraging to see the benefit in improved financial results and a stronger foundation for the future.”