Sir Stelios calls for sacking of directors at African airline Fastjet
has used his position as a major shareholder of African budget carrier Fastjet to demand that its directors be sacked.
Haji-Ioannou, who has also been a of management at the EasyJet airline he founded, called a general meeting to immediately dismiss Fastjet’s chief executive, Ed Winter, and remove another director, Krista Bates, from the main board, citing concerns over costs.
Winter last month announced he would step down as chief executive, pending a successor being found, but a spokesman for Haji-Ioannou, who owns a 12% stake and , said it was time for a “clean break”.
In a letter to Fastjet’s chairman, the EasyGroup boss claimed: “The company has a ridiculously high cost base ... Winter has burnt some £80m in the last 3 years. We believe the company will run out of cash sometime in 2016. We now have about six months left to steady this ship. Time is of the essence.”
Haji-Ioannou has balked at costs including a Fastjet head office at London Gatwick. He said: “This is not only a high cost location, when revenues are reported in local Tanzanian currency, but is also 4,750 miles away from Tanzania where the main operations and customers of Fastjet are located.”
He added that Fastjet was making unrealistic revenue forecasts for a fleet of six aircraft.
Fastjet with domestic flights in Tanzania, with ambitions to become a pan-African budget carrier. It has since expanded its operations into South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi and Kenya, but shares plunged to a record low after a profit warning in December.
Fastjet said it would be releasing a statement later in response.