Fastjet shares dive after bird strikes in Tanzania hit services

Joseph Millis
LOW-COST African airline fastjet yesterday announced that “an unprecedented” four bird strikes in two weeks had forced it to delay or cancel several of its Tanzanian flight services last month.

In an operational update to the London Stock Exchange, the airline said it had “encountered an unprecedented total of four bird strikes in two weeks, with two large birds colliding with the nose cone of the aircraft, and two hitting the aircraft engines fan blades”.

Fastjet added that it had “evaluated the possibility of leasing an aircraft to cover the reduction in its fleet”, but was unable to source them in time.

The Tanzania-headquartered airline’s chief executive and interim chairman Ed Winter said: “It is highly unusual to have had four bird strikes in such a short period of time.

“Going forward, we are working with the relevant authorities to improve the management of the Mwanza airfield and surrounding areas to reduce the likelihood of bird strikes in the future.”

Fastjet said that last month it had carried 57,750 passengers at a load factor, or seats filled per plane, of 74 per cent. The airline said this represented a 79 per cent increase on the same time a year ago.

Aim-listed fastjet shares closed down 3.48 per cent at 1.11p.

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