Stelios and Lonrho Group take over Fly540

 You gotta love Wolfgang Thome's coverage of East African aviation boardroom intrigues :)  ::

It was learned over the weekend that a new ownership has emerged at Fly 540 Aviation, when Lonrho with their new partners Sir Stelios compelled the other existing shareholders to sell – in the face of whatever evidence they were confronted with – taking full control of East Africa’s first LCC.

Previous Co-CEO Don Smith predictably had to leave Fly 540, and it is understood that no tears were shed by anyone over this, while Neill Steffen, the other Co-CEO and previously more engaged in other Fly 540 operations in other parts of Africa, will return full time to Nairobi to take charge of the airline.
Only a week ago were news broken on the WolfganghThome blog of these developments being imminent, bringing forth the wrath of those exposed a shade too early for their own clandestine taste, but with this latest confirmation now at hand, it is once again clear that the story broken then was entirely correct and that the anger of those now departed has departed with it.

It was confirmed that Don Smith will be moving over to East African Safari Air Express, a company ostensibly taken over by Fly 540, in retrospect not the case as it was taken over by one individual. EASAX is now awaiting a Kenya Civil Aviation Authority licensing hearing to learn about the fate of their application for an air service license, something which will probably meet with objections from other airlines but that will be another story to be told right here when the time comes.

Another piece of information which emerged from the weekend information flow was that what was thought to have been Fly 540’s own maintenance facility at Wilson Airport was apparently also owned by the now former CEO Don Smith, which if correct would be a clear sign of longer term intent, to be ready when the day would inevitably come that the other shareholders, those with the money that is, could no longer to be duped and would come knocking at the door with strong men in attendance, figuratively speaking of course. Whether, as has been rumoured, that MRO has charged Fly 540 over the top for maintenance, cannot be confirmed but a forensic audit could possible shed some light on this piece of the equation, should the new bosses at Fly 540 wish to pursue the matter further.

The new owners seem set to roll out an ambitious fleet development programme to turn their vision finally into reality, no longer held back by internal elements with their own hidden agenda, and will in coming months turn into what is expected to be a purely jet airline, operating regional flights and the city pairs to Kisumu, Malindi and Mombasa. Watch this space as the Fly 540 saga enters a new phase with new owners, refreshed management and the deep pockets to make things happen. 

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