fastjet agrees to buy 1time
Following the recent announcement that fastjet was in talks to buy 1time, the South Africa low cost airline that went into liquidation last month, fastjet has agreed into an option agreement to buy the entire issued share capital of 1time Airline from its parent company, 1time Holdings Limited, for ZAR1 ($US 0.12).
Should the option be exercised the agreement is subject to a number of conditions precedent, including UK and South African Regulatory approval and any necessary approval by the shareholders of fastjet’s largest shareholder Lonrho plc , the approval of the 1time Holdings Limited shareholders and 1time Airline reaching a settlement with its creditors via a Court sanctioned scheme of arrangement.
fastjet by acquiring the shares would gain the right to operate domestic and regional air services in South Africa. fastjet will be taking over up to three of the twelve aircraft that were in the 1time fleet when the business went into provisional liquidation. The aircraft will all be on new operating lease agreements. The initial routes are all domestic routes serving the cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London.
Ed Winter, Chief Executive Officer of fastjet, said: “I am pleased 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 but very much hope that 1time will be flying again early in the New Year. Flights will initially be operated by a number of aircraft from the 1time fleet including McDonnell Douglas MD-82s, MD-83s and MD-87s. In due course we plan to re-fleet with modern Airbus A319 aircraft.
“The acquisition of 1time supports fastjet’s growth into a pan African low cost carrier and the synergies with fastjet’ s existing operations will potentially increase the number of available route networks from South Africa into the rest of Africa. 1time will be rebranded as fastjet brand and sold through fastjet.com.
“We are working with the South African authorities who, like us, are completely committed to helping 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. We hope to keep many of the original 1time staff employed. With the co-operation 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.