EasyJet founder looks at feasibility of African LCC

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EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou is to examine the feasibility of launching a new low cost carrier in Africa after agreeing a deal between his EasyGroup business and investment firm Rubicon Diversified.

In a stock exchange statement, Rubicon said that it had entered into a conditional arrangement with EasyGroup, which could see the latter acquire a shareholding of up to 15% in the investment company.

In return, Rubicon will "use the services of Stelios and EasyGroup's experienced aviation management team to provide general strategic, management and branding advice on the feasibility of implementing a low-cost, point-to-point, no-frills, all jet aircraft business model for Africa".

Rubicon unveiled its plans for an airline acquisition on 17 November.

It will also get the rights to use the Fastjet.com brand for an initial period of 12 months. It said: "Following this period, provided the company has taken delivery of a western standard jet aircraft liveried as Fastjet.com or completed a substantial transaction which is classified as a reverse take-over under the AIM Rules, Rubicon's rights to the Fastjet.com brand would continue on a perpetual basis."

EasyGroup will receive a royalty fee for use of the Fastjet brand for a period of 10 years.

The company intends to recruit four to five aviation executives who will be selected and led by Haji-Ioannou.

Rubicon will ratify the deal at a shareholder meeting on 13 December.