Fastjet Mozambique, one of the few remaining fastjet airlines, has announced plans to suspend flights at midnight on Oct. 26 because of stiff competition.

“The detrimental financial impact of ongoing supply and demand challenges means that suspending our Mozambique operations is the right course of action at this time.  However, we remain committed to Mozambique, will be monitoring the market environment very closely and expect to return there as and when the situation improves,” fastjet Interim CEO Mark Hurst said Oct. 21, via a London Stock Exchange announcement.

Fastjet Mozambique will also suspend its codeshare agreement with LAM Mozambique Airlines.

“It is expected that costs related to the suspension of flight operations in Mozambique, including refunds, will amount to around $150,000,” fastjet said.

Competition in Mozambique began to intensify in late 2018, when Ethiopian Airlines launched as a domestic carrier, creating excess capacity. The country was then hit by two Category 5 tropical cyclones at the beginning of 2019, which reduced demand.

In response to the changing market, fastjet Mozambique scaled back frequencies and capacity. Revenues for the first six months of 2019 halved to $1.9 million, triggering a $2.4 million interim loss. Group interim revenue totaled $19.7 million.

“The suspension of flights in Mozambique does not affect any of the operations of fastjet Zimbabwe,” fastjet said.

Fastjet Zimbabwe operates domestic flights between Harare, Johannesburg, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, and international flights from Harare and Victoria Falls to Johannesburg in South Africa. 

Fastjet has struggled for several years to implement its vision of a pan-African LCC and has restructured several times in a bid to improve its performance.

In 2018, fastjet made a $65 million net loss, substantially deeper than the $24.5 million loss posted in 2017.

Victoria Moores