HARARE – The ambitious budget carrier, Fastjet, faces the prospect of grounding operations by March, if it fails to get the funding that it desperately requires to sustain operations beyond March this year.

This comes out in a trading update released on Monday, which said the Pan African airline was still to find funding.

In November 2019, Fastjet said it would offload its Zimbabwe unit to a consortium led by major shareholder, Solenta Aviation, for US$8m, as it warned that should its restructuring plan flops by the end of February 2020, its going concern status would be compromised.

The firm said on Monday it was yet to finalise the disposal of Fastjet Zimbabwe, and time appears to be running out.

To address its funding requirement the group said it “remains in active discussions with an investor consortium led and underwritten by Solenta Aviation Holdings and other local investors in Zimbabwe, in relation to the disposal of the group’s holding in Fastjet Zimbabwe”.  

“The investor consortium is finalising its due diligence on Fastjet Zimbabwe and securing the required regulatory approvals,” the company said.

“The final negotiations with the investor consortium, including the final consideration payable, will be concluded once this exercise is completed.”

It added that, whilst discussions with the investor consortium are ongoing, there can be no guarantee of a successful outcome.

“If the group is unable to carry out the restructuring proposal by the end of March 2020, it would be unable to continue trading as a going concern,” it added.