Staff who were laid off after budget airline 1time folded may be re-employed by Fastjet. (Pic: www.southafrica.to)
Cape Town - The London Stock Exchange announced on Wednesday that Africa's low-cost airline Fastjet has signed an option agreement with 1time Airlines parent 1time Holdings to buy all issued share capital in the defunct airline for R1.
The option agreement will see London-based fastjet join the South African aviation market with an eye to operating domestic and regional flights.
Before it went under, 1time was the second-largest low-cost airline in South Africa. The option agreement could see Fastjet join the country’s aviation market with initial routes serving Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London.
Fastjet will be taking over up to three of the 12 aircraft that were in the 1time fleet when the business went into provisional liquidation. The planes will fly under new lease agreements.
Once operational, the airline is looking to upgrade the fleet with Airbus A319 aircraft.
"I am pleased we have managed to reach a provisional agreement with all parties to buy 1time,” said Fastjet CEO Ed Winter.
He added he had hoped to get the airline off the ground by Christmas but because of ongoing negotiations, it will now only launch in 2013.
The acquisition of 1time is seen as part of Fastjet’s plans to expand as a Pan-African low-cost carrier.
"With Fastjet’s existing operations we will potentially increase the number of available route networks from South Africa into the rest of Africa,” Winter said.
The defunct 1time will be rebranded as Fastjet and will operate through Fastjet.com.
“We hope to keep many of the original 1time staff employed,” Winter said.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval both in the United Kingdom and South Africa, and shareholder agreement by parent companies Lonrho and 1time Holdings.
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