Fastjet (FN, Dar es Salaam) is courting investors from China, India, South Africa and Malaysia, new majority shareholder Lawrence Masha has revealed.

Speaking to The Citizen newspaper last week, Masha said he was looking for additional capital to help relaunch the airline which was grounded by the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) on December 17 for failure to meet its licencing requirements.

It is recalled that prior to its grounding and shortly after fastjet plc's divestiture when two E190s were also withdrawn from its service, Fastjet Tanzania had briefly wet-leased a B737-500 from Africa Charter Airline (FSK, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) to ply domestic Tanzanian routes.

This contract, however, only ran for ten days (December 7 to 17) following which the TCAA grounded the airline for excessive flight cancellations as well as a massive debt overhang. It gave the carrier 28 days to provide a suitable turnaround and financing plan failure of which would lead to the revocation of its licences.

Masha said in an interview on CloudsMedia TV's 360 programme on Wednesday, December 19, that as part of the plan, Fastjet Tanzania would take delivery of an unspecified B737-500 on Saturday, December 22, with other aircraft to follow.

“After delivering the first plane on Saturday, we expect two more Boeing 737-500 planes to increase our fleet as well as resolve the flight cancellation challenge,” he said. “All our acquired planes will be registered in Tanzania. As demand is likely to grow, we expect to acquire one or two more Bombardier Aerospace planes.”

Any turnaround plan will also require Fatsjet settle its outstanding payments. According to The Citizen, one of the E190s that was to have been returned to GECAS, 5H-FJH (msn 19000167), has been detained in Dar es Salaam pending the finalization of TZS1.4 billion Tanzanian shillings (USD606,000) worth of debts owed to the TCAA and other suppliers.