July 2, 2019 / 7:00 AM / a year ago

Cash-strapped airline Fastjet's CEO to step down

FILE PHOTO: A Mango Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft takes off at King Shaka International Airport in Durban, South Africa, January 14, 2018. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

(Reuters) - Struggling low-cost African airline Fastjet Plc (FJET.L) said on Tuesday that after three years at the helm its Chief Executive Officer Nico Bezuidenhout would step down to re-join a business that he founded.

Media reports here last month suggested that Bezuidenhout could return to Mango Airlines as its top boss, a role he previously held for nearly a decade.

Bezuidenhout could not immediately be reached for comment.

Fastjet said Mark Hurst, its deputy group chief executive officer, will lead the airline until a permanent replacement is appointed.

The airline, which operates in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, has faced several issues related to its dwindling cash pile and was saved from going under after striking a deal to raise funds late last year.

Bezuidenhout told Reuters last week that Fastjet expects to be profitable on an underlying basis in 2019.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Arun Koyyur

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