EasyGroup, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s private investment vehicle, yesterday called for the removal of top directors at African low-cost carrier Fastjet.

Sir Stelios, a 12% shareholder, wrote to the airline’s chairman, Colin Child, calling for the removal of its chief executive and general counsel.

He said he had “lost faith in the management and current board (of Fastjet)” and that “unless the board does some serious cost-cutting the company will soon run out of cash.”

Sir Stelios exercised his right to call an extraordinary general meeting at Fastjet.

The EGM will be asked to vote on two resolutions – the removal of Ed Winter as chief executive and director of Fastjet with immediate effect, and of Krista Bates as a main board director.

The Tanzania-based airline has its shares listed on the AIM-market in London and is based at Gatwick.   

Sir Stelios told the Times that Fastjet’s overheads far exceeded what a six-aircraft airline could sustain.

“At the current cash burn rate, we believe the company will run out of cash some time in 2016,” he warned. “We now have about six months left to steady this ship.”

He also dismissed as “a pipe dream” forecasts recently made by Liberum Capital, its house broker, that Fastjet would break even this year, trebling revenues to £186 million.

Sir Stelios wants part-time chairman Child to take over as executive chairman. Child, who arrived in October, has no previous airline experience.

A Fastjet spokesman declinaed to comment on whether Child would take on the role or whether a special general meeting would be called.