fastjet achieves first profitable trading month in December 2014
fastjet Tanzania has posted its first profitable trading month at an Earnings before Interest and Tax ('EBIT') level in December as it saw strong demand for its services during the very 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 per cent year on year. The contribution generated by the Tanzanian operation was sufficient to create an underlying operating profit for the month at the fastjet Plc group level.
December 2014 Passenger Statistics
fastjet operations in Tanzania carried a total of 65,653 passengers, a 75 percent increase compared to the same month last year, and achieved a load factor of 76 percent, 2 percentage points up on last year.
On Time Performance remained excellent at 89 percent.
Although the first quarter is traditionally a relatively low demand flying period, trading in the first quarter is expected to be much improved on last year as the excellent growth trends in both passenger numbers and yields seen in 2014 are anticipated to continue and as the Company benefits from lower fuel costs. The number of flights operating has been reduced to match capacity to expected demand and reduce costs
The fuel price in January will provide a further 13 percent reduction on December prices. The Company 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. As stated last month, fastjet does not currently pre-purchase or 'hedge' its future fuel price. The Company pays current market rates for its fuel and is therefore realising substantial benefits from the reduction in the cost of crude oil.
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.
fastjet Tanzania is also celebrating the major milestone of flying one million passengers across the African continent.
This milestone represents another significant achievement for the low-cost airline as it is embraced into the hearts and minds of travellers in Tanzania and further afield across East and Southern Africa.
Ed Winter, Interim chairman and chief executive officer of fastjet plc, 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.