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Fly540 withdraws brand licences it had given Fastjet

Fly540 has withdrawn brand licences it had granted for Fastjet’s operations in Angola, Ghana and Tanzania. Photo/FILE
Fly540 has withdrawn brand licences it had granted for Fastjet’s operations in Angola, Ghana and Tanzania. Photo/FILE 

The row between Fly540 and Fastjet has taken a new turn after the Kenyan airline withdrew the brand licences it had granted for Fastjet’s operations in Angola, Ghana and Tanzania.

Fly540 Wednesday said it had made the move because Fastjet owes $7.7 million (Sh669 million) in licensing fees and for its failure to demonstrate compliance with 540’s safety systems.

Fastjet maintains that the airline has no power to terminate these licenses though.

Don Smith, Fly540’s chief executive, said the brand was still controlled by Fly540 Kenya, which had given Fastjet a seven-day notice to comply with the licence agreement.

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He said the airline had no choice but to take action because the non-compliance meant Fly540 had no way of assuring that the planes were safe to fly.

A statement from Fastjet refuted this claim saying that the airline was looking to address some of the issues that have arisen in the past couple of weeks in court.

“Issues created by Don Smith in Kenya have not and will not affect Fastjet’s overall plan of becoming Africa’s first pan-continental low-cost carrier,” said chairman David Lenigas in a statement.

The local carrier has issued a notice to Fastjet to re-paint the three Fly540 branded planes it flies in Angola and the two in Ghana in a neutral colour. Fastjet is further required to rebrand its offices and all materials.

An ongoing spat between the two forced Fastjet to abandon plans to rebrand the Kenyan wing of Fly540 and inked a fresh agreement with rival carrier Jetlink to establish another low-cost airline.

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