UK airline acquires 1Time
LONDON-LISTED low-cost airline Fastjet has signed an option to buy the provisionally liquidated South African domestic airline 1Time in a deal that would give it access to the regional market.
If the deal is approved by regulators, 1Time will be rebranded as Fastjet. It will initially operate between Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London.
Because the talks have taken longer than expected the airline will not take to the skies until early in the new year.
In terms of the agreement announced yesterday, Fastjet will buy the entire issued share capital of 1time from its parent company, 1Time Holdings, for R1.
The agreement is subject to regulatory approval in the UK and South Africa, as well as approval by Fastjet's biggest shareholder, Lonrho plc, and 1Time Holdings' shareholders. It will also require that 1Time enters into a scheme of arrangement with its creditors.
The deal will give Fastjet the right to operate domestic and regional air services in South Africa. It will take over up to three of the 12 aircraft left in the 1Time fleet when the business went into provisional liquidation. It will also enter into new operating lease agreements for the aircraft.
Fastjet CEO Ed Winter said the acquisition "supports Fastjet's growth into a pan African low-cost carrier. The synergies with Fastjet's operations will increase the number of available route networks from South Africa into the rest of Africa".
"With the cooperation of the shareholders of 1Time we can build an airline that will provide a real choice to South Africans, based on the great reputation of 1Time and the low-cost experience of Fastjet."
Winter said he was pleased that "we have managed to reach a provisional agreement with all parties to buy 1Time''.
"Due to protracted negotiations we will not have 1Time flying before the Christmas holidays but we very much hope that 1Time will be flying again early in the new year.
"Flights will initially be operated by a number of McDonnell Douglas aircraft from the 1Time fleet . but in due course we plan to [build a fleet of] modern Airbus A319 aircraft." - BDlive