Fastjet Group has announced it will close its Fastjet Mozambique (Maputo) subsidiary with effect from October 26, 2019, citing overcapacity in the Mozambican market.

In a stock market filing, the African low-fare airline holding said the arrival of Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines (Beira), coupled with the impact of two category 5 tropical cyclones at the beginning of 2019, had forced Fastjet Mozambique to scale back frequencies on routes and to reduce its overall capacity in Mozambique. As a result, Fastjet Mozambique registered revenue of USD1.9 million during the first half of 2019 compared to USD4.2 million for the same period the year previous.

"Following continued losses (USD2.4 million in the first half of 2019) and the ongoing oversupply of available seats by other carriers, Fastjet has decided to suspend all flight operations in Mozambique," it said. "It is expected that costs related to the suspension of flight operations in Mozambique including refunds will amount to around USD150,000."

Fastjet reaffirmed its intention of returning to Mozambique once demand for air travel in the country matches capacity available.

A virtual carrier, Fastjet Mozambique chartered E145 capacity from its Solenta Aviation Mozambique (FW, Maputo) production carrier for use in connecting its Maputo base with Tete. In terms of overall seating capacity in the Mozambican market, the ch-aviation capacities module shows Fastjet Mozambique accounted for 300 seats/week or 1.4%. By comparison, LAM - Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (TM, Maputo) controls 16,102 seats/week (75.32%) while Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines offers 4,968 seats/week (23.25%).

With this development, fastjet group's list of active airlines has dwindled to just Fastjet Zimbabwe (FN, Harare Int'l). Its Federal Air (7V, Durban Virginia) subsidiary, in South Africa, is due to be rebranded as Fastjet South Africa (7V, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) although this is due to only take place in 2020.