UPDATE 1-Fastjet says in partnership talks with Emirates Airline

Wed Dec 5, 2012 4:28am EST

Dec 5 (Reuters) - Low-cost African carrier Fastjet Plc said it was in potential partnership talks with Emirates Airline, sending it shares up as much as 7 percent on London's AIM.

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

Fastjet, which began commercial flights last month, was set up after British investment firm Rubicon acquired the aviation unit of industrial group Lonrho Plc for $86 million in June.

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

Africa's fledging aviation market is poised for growth as consumer demand in the resource-rich continent rises.

Middle East carrier Emirates uses its Dubai hub to connect travellers in Africa to the rest of the world.

Fastjet shares were trading up 2.74 percent at 3.8 pence at 0915 GMT.