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Nico Bezuidenhout

Chief Executive Officer
FastJet

Nico Bezuidenhout was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of African low-cost airline fastjet plc on 2 August 2016 following a decade of leading South African domestic low-cost carrier Mango.
 
Nico managed Mango since its launch in 2006; bringing an entrepreneurial spirit and a culture of innovation, particularly in technology, into the airline’s DNA. Prior to Mango, he spent several years developing and launching SAA’s online distribution and retail platform and, before that, launching and serving as Chief Operations Officer of South Africa’s first online ticketing venture Ticketweb.
 
He has overseen Mango’s rapid growth into one of South Africa’s most recognized and loved airline brands and as incumbent fastjet plc chief executive, plans to position the African airline as the continent’s best loved airline brand.  
 
Innovation has tracked Nico’s career and in 2007 Mango became the first domestic airline to retail flights through supermarket chain Shoprite Checkers. In 2008 the airline became the first, and still remains the only carrier in the world to accept store charge cards as a payment method. Mango is the only African airline to offer on-board Wi-Fi on much of its fleet and recently became the only continental carrier to offer a mobile app across all major platforms, enabling booking, travel management and payment on the go.
 
Nico co-authored the SAA Long-Term Turnaround Strategy in April 2013 during his first tenure as SAA Acting Chief Executive that ended in June 2013. The strategy presented a road map to business sustainability. In November 2014 Nico was again appointed SAA Acting Chief Executive, authoring and successfully implementing the 90 Day Action Plan, a plan intent on returning SAA to full implementation of the Long-Term Turnaround Strategy following hiatus in its execution.
 
He began his career at concert promoter Big Concerts in 1996 as financial manager. By 1997 he was appointed as executive general manager of the promoter’s merchandising arm African Concession Management. Nico was one of the architects of South Africa’s first online ticketing retailer Ticketweb and served as Chief Operations Officer between 1999 and 2001 when the business was sold; thereafter joining SAA and developing Africa’s first online airline ticketing and distribution platform. In early 2006 he was appointed to lead a task team in developing the notion, business model and ultimate launch of low-cost airline Mango.
 
Driven by infectious ambition, Nico is inspired by achievement, continuing to lead two of South Africa’s major airline brands along with subsidiaries SAA Technical, SAA Cargo and in-flight catering unit Air Chefs.
 

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