fastjet to acquire three ATR 72-600s, enter loan agreement with Solenta

    fastjet announced (05-Apr-2018) its intention to exercise its option to purchase three ATR 72-600 aircraft and enter a USD12 million loan agreement with Solenta Aviation Holdings. The 70 seat aircraft are expected to enter service in Jun-2018. fastjet entered a LoI with ABRIC Leasing, a member of ACIA AeroCapital Group, on 29-Sep-2017 to secure the three ATRs under a 10 year operating lease, with the option to purchase the aircraft. The exercise of the option to purchase is subject to approval by the ultimate owner of the aircraft, Export Development Canada, which has indicated approval in principle. The aircraft are valued at approximately USD42 million with outstanding debt of approximately USD30 million repayable over the next nine years. fastjet is due to pay ACIA an option deposit of approximately USD11 million to acquire the economic rights to the aircraft. On 04-Apr-2018, fastjet entered a USD12 million loan facility agreement with Solenta to fund the aircraft acquisition, with the balance of funds to be used for general working capital purposes. The security for the loan includes the right for Solenta to nominate directors to the boards of fastjet Zimbabwe and FedAir and to nominate an additional director to the board of Fastjet PLC. Regarding the new aircraft, fastjet CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said: “This aircraft type serves a particular purpose in that certain short haul routes with shorter runways now become accessible to fastjet, whilst the fuel efficient nature of the aircraft will stand us in good stead in an environment where fuel prices have shown an upward trend”. [more – original PR]