Saturday, May 5, 2012

► SOUTH AFRICA: After heavy losses, new 1Time CEO outlines plans to turn around airline.

1TimeFollowing the resignation of Rodney James from both his posts as CEO and executive director of South African Low Cost Carrier 1Time (T6) after the airline posted a record USD$18million loss for 2011, new CEO Blacky Komani along with his managerial staff have, since the last quarter of 2011, adjusted airline scheduling, and  restructured 1time's Jetworx maintenance subsidiary to achieve higher operational efficiencies.
"It is continuing with plans to expand its route network into other parts of Africa. Chief executive Blacky Komani said it was considering three new destinations and expected to launch the first of its new services by June. 1Time was preparing to overcome protectionism that had been preventing cross-border services in Africa by forming partnerships with indigenous airlines in the three countries." 

Losses, mostly blamed on sharp increases in fuel and airport charges, and the weakening South African Rand, have been the primary factors that have hampered the industry for the year 2011. Passenger numbers were lower than budgeted for and average ticket prices were under pressure due to fierce competition from airlines like Comair BA, Kulula, Mango, SAA and the now grounded LCC Velvet Sky. 

Both 1time & Comair (who fly under Kulula & British Airways brands in South Africa) will be outcompeted by SAA, Mango & South African Express; if the SA government continues to underwrite their losses.