African low-cost airline fastjet has entered into an option agreement to buy the entire issued share capital of 1time Airline from its parent company, 1time Holdings, for ZAR1.
The news follows a recent announcement fastjet was in talks to buy 1time, which went into liquidation last month.
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, the approval of the 1time Holdings 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 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.”