Emirates in talks with Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s African carrier

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The easyJet boss set up Tanzania-based low-cost carrier FastJet last month

Dubai’s Emirates Airline is in talks regarding a potential partnership with Fastjet, the African low-cost carrier founded by easyjet boss Stelios Haji-Ioannou, it was reported on Wednesday.

"Talks are at an early stage but this represents a great opportunity for both parties," Fastjet Chief Executive Ed Winter said in a statement.

Jean-Luc Grillet, head of commercial operations for Africa at Emirates, said in a statement the carrier was “willing to work with FastJet”.

Fastjet was set up by Monaco-based businessman Stelios Haji-Ioannou, best known for founding UK-based low-cost carrier easyJet, and began commercial flights last month.

British investment firm Rubicon, which is a major stakeholder in the carrier’s holding company, acquired the aviation unit of industrial group Lonrho for US$86m in June.

The African carrier had said on Tuesday that it was in talks with liquidators to buy struggling South African budget airline 1time.

The low-cost carrier will operate out of Tanzania and will offer flights to Uganda and Kenya.

Emirates, the world’s largest airline in terms of international traffic, currently operates to 21 cities in Africa.

“We routinely look at ways we can work with other airlines in order to offer customers the most convenient and seamless service possible. However, it is our policy not to comment on any discussions underway,” a Dubai-based Emirates spokesperson said in a statement.

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