Fastjet (FN, Dar es Salaam) will be required to apply for a new Air Services Permit (ASP) after its original one expired on January 3, the head of the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) has said.

Speaking to The Citizen newspaper, Hamza Johari said that the dormant LCC had failed to meet the air transport regulator's criteria, including payment of licence fees and the settlement of the debt it owes the TCAA. According to him, Fastjet owes the TCAA, other service providers, and assorted creditors a total of TZS7 billion (USD3.028 million). The regulator has since barred one of the E190s Fastjet had been leasing from GECAS - 5H-FJH (msn 19000167) - from being returned to the lessor pending full payment of its dues.

The TCAA grounded Fastjet in December last year citing a number of shortcomings including a lack of aircraft, frequent flight cancellations, and a lack of suitably qualified personnel.

On December 17, 2018, the TCAA gave Fastjet 28 days (i.e. until January 14, 2019) to resolve the oversights. Aside from addressing its capitalization woes, the regulator also required Fastjet to submit a robust business plan and to appoint a suitably qualified Accountable Manager.

However, Johari said the plan that Fastjet submitted on December 22 did not adequately prove, to the regulator's satisfaction, that the airline had sufficient funding to resume flights. Furthermore, Lawrence Masha, who acquired control of the airline from fastjet plc in November last year, had attempted to appoint himself as Accountable Manager despite being unqualified for the role.

The director general added that even after advising the airline to appoint a properly qualified person to the position by the January 14 deadline, Fastjet failed to do so.

"Fastjet requested for more time to prepare themselves so that they can sort out the matter. We agreed - and we are ready to advise them because our goal is to give room for locals to invest in the aviation industry so that we can have healthy, effective competition," he said.

"They will have to apply for a new licence if and when they are able and ready to do so. We are willing to give them all the support needed."

Masha was not immediately available for comment but has previously confirmed the search for new investors is underway.