Cape Town - It is highly unlikely that 1time, the liquidated low cost airline will be flying anytime soon.
British-owned low-cost airline FastJet has acknowledged it is in talks to buy 1time from its liquidators. FastJet had been talking to 1time since before the airline was liquidated and says these talks have never stopped.
Details on the procurement are very thin with all parties playing their cards close to their chest.
One matter that has not been discussed is how FastJet plans to get around local aviation legislation as South African Aviation law does not allow for local airlines to be owned by foreign nationals or foreign companies.
FastJet wants to acquire 1time - presumably for its SA domestic operating licence – but would have to comply with the terms of section 16.4 of the Air Services Licensing Act No.115 of 1990.
In terms of this Act, an application (to take over a licence) is granted and a licence only issued or amended, subject to the provision of this Act, if the applicant is a natural person and a resident of the Republic; or if the applicant is not a natural person, is incorporated in the Republic and at least 75% of the voting rights in respect of such person is held by residents of the Republic.
Other pertinent sections of the Act say that any change to a licence or the owner of a licence has to be published in a government gazette and then a period of 21 days has to be allowed for public comment.
This means even if legislation is circumvented by means of proxy or on another manner, 1time will probably not be flying by Christmas.
FastJet is the holding company for African airline Fly540, which operates from Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Angola.
Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.