Following recent speculation in the South African press, fastjet has announced it is currently in negotiations with the provisional liquidator of 1time, the South Africa low cost airline which ceased trading last month.
The negotiations, which have not yet concluded, and are subject to board, parent company, and regulatory approval, would allow fastjet to purchase 1time Airline from its parent company, 1time Holdings.
The proposed transaction would involve fastjet paying a nominal fee for the purchase of 1time Airline and reaching a settlement with the 1time creditors.
Ed Winter, chief executive of fastjet, said: “If this transaction goes ahead and the timescales are extremely challenging - we would hope to get 1time flying again in time for the Christmas holiday period, when many customers have had their plans dashed by the cessation of 1time services and the subsequent huge increases in fares by competitors.
“Flights would initially be operated by a number of aircraft from the 1time fleet including McDonnell Douglas MD-82s, MD-83s and MD-87s, but restructuring plans would see a rapid re-fleeting with modern Airbus A319 aircraft.
“The acquisition of 1time would be a complementary strategic fit for fastjet’s growth into a pan African low cost carrier and the synergies with fastjet would potentially increase the number of available route networks from South Africa into the rest of Africa.
“1time would be rebranded into the 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 and 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.”