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Fly540 Introduces Two Aircraft in Route Expansion Drive
[May 15, 2007]

Fly540 Introduces Two Aircraft in Route Expansion Drive

(East African (Kenya) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Lonrho, the proprietors of the low-cost Fly540, has introduced two Dash 8-100 turbo prop aircrafts that will increase the airline's capacity. This will allow it to venture into new domestic routes to Lokichogio, Wajir and Mandera.

Coming at a time when the aviation industry is preoccupied with the issue of safety, Lonrho management emphasises that the Canadian manufactured Dash 8-100 turbo prop aircraft, which carries 37 passengers, has an excellent safety record and is extremely popular with low-cost airlines around the world due to low operating costs resulting in a significantly lower break-even point.

Turbo prop aircraft are more fuel efficient than jets, allowing Fly540 to offer low budget fares, filling a large gap in the Kenyan market for affordable air travel.

Fly540 introduced its first service to Mombasa last November and was well received by both business and leisure travellers. The airline has since added three more routes including Malindi, Lamu and Kisumu and is the largest domestic low budget air carrier in East Africa.

The airline intends to expand to international destinations by the end of this year to include a minimum of four other regional destinations in East Africa and another four in 2008.

Last month, Fly540 carried over 10,000 passengers demonstrating the demand for low budget air travel in East Africa.

The rapidly increasing demand for such services makes this a high growth area of business aligning it with Lonrho's renewed strategic focus. The Nairobi based pan-African company holds a 49 per cent interest in the airline.

According to Lonrho's executive chairman and chief executive David Lenigas, the addition of the two aircrafts will add value to the existing fleet and a significant step towards expanding to regional destinations outside Kenya in the near future.

"The direction Fly540 has taken significantly strengthens Lonrho's position and strategy aimed at enhancing infrastructure and related services in Africa through investments in these very high growth sectors.

It is our intention to provide low-cost value-for-money air travel in Kenya and the region, and Fly540 has been instrumental in allowing this to happen," he said.

Apart from the airline business, Lonrho is in the process of re-establishing a significant presence on the African continent.

Its investment and acquisition strategy, which was adopted following the appointment of Lenigas as chairman and chief executive and subsequent shareholder approval in February last year, focuses on the infrastructure, transport, natural resources, leisure and agribusiness sectors.

Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media. (

Copyright 2007 East African (Kenya). Distributed by Allafrica Global Media.

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