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New low cost carrier takes off

Oct 17 2012 17:25
James Brent-Styan
Cape Town - Fresh Air, the Zimbabwean registered low cost airline will launch its first flight on 2 November, flying between OR Tambo International Airport to Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe.
Fresh Air recently entered into a joint venture agreement with 1time Airline according to which 1time aircraft will be used to serve the Fresh Air route.
Blacky Komani, 1time CEO says 1time is terminating its current Livingstone flight in favour of flights to be operated by Fresh Air between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls Airport.
“The result is that 1time’s operating cost will remain the same and the benefit to us is that our load factors will be much higher,” Komani says.
1time is currently under business rescue whilst the debt laden airline finalises a business rescue plan.
The airlines has already cut two of its aircraft and is now operating 8 aircraft.
The airline has been reported to be in debt of around R300m.
Fresh Air has officially acquired the traffic rights to commence operations and has announced the new route schedule, which as it stands, includes three weekly flights from OR Tambo International Airport.
Komani says the route introduction comes at an opportune time for Fresh Air due to the upcoming holiday peak season.
“As South Africa’s busiest holiday season dawns upon us, we have no doubt that our joint venture with Fresh Air will be anything other than successful.
"We also believe that Zimbabwe will benefit by the introduction of a low cost carrier to help stimulate tourism as well as business trade between the two countries,” says Komani.
Komani says the joint venture began before the airline filed for business rescue and that no additional costs will be incurred.
“Fresh Air’s schedule to Victoria Falls is not an additional route, but rather a route swop between partners.”



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