8 December 2012

East Africa: Fastjet in Talks to Buy Ailing 1Time Airline

Budget airline FastJet says it is negotiating with the management, directors, and provisional liquidator for a possible buyout of 1time, the South Africa low-cost airline that ceased trading last month.

The negotiations, which have not yet concluded, and are subject to board, parent company, and regulatory approval, would allow Fastjet to buy 1time Airline from its parent company, 1time Holdings. The proposed transaction would involve Fastjet paying a nominal fee for the purchase of 1time Airline and reaching a settlement with the 1time creditors.

Ed Winter, Chief Executive Officer of Fastjet, said: "If this transaction goes ahead and the timescales are extremely challenging - we would hope to get 1time flying again in time for the Christmas holiday period, when many customers have had their plans dashed by the cessation of 1time services and the subsequent huge increases in fares by competitors."

Lower fares

Flights would initially be operated by a number of aircraft from the 1time fleet including McDonnell Douglas MD-82s, MD-83s and MD-87s, but restructuring plans would see a rapid re-fleeting with modern Airbus A319 aircraft.

"The acquisition of 1time would be a complementary strategic fit for Fastjet's growth into a pan African low cost carrier." 1time would be rebranded into the Fastjet brand and sold.

"We are working with the South African authorities who, like us, are committed to help the airline industry in South Africa develop for the benefit of all the people. Lower fares mean more economic growth, more jobs and more prosperity," he added.

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