Monday, March 18, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: fastjet files letter of intent with 1Time's creditors in Johannesburg; one step closer to launching.

fastjetLCC fastjet (FN) has taken, what it terms, "a major step” towards its acquisition of defunct South African LCC 1Time (T6) through the filing of a letter of intent with the airline's liquidators in Johannesburg. The move comes on the back of a visit by fastjet's Chairman and Chief Executive, David Lenigas, to South Africa, last week.

© fastjet A320
© fastjet
The letter of intent will enable liquidators to negotiate a compromise settlement with the defunct carrier's  creditors. On ceasing operations in November 2012, 1Time had an estimated debt of USD46million of which the largest tranche - USD16.8million - was owed to the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA). 

fastjet Chief Executive Officer Ed Winter said:
"fastjet is really excited about the opportunity to serve the South African air travel market and this is a very significant step towards making that a reality."
The Tanzanian based carrier maintains that the acquisition of 1Time remains its preferred route into the South African market, but that it is willing and open to exploring alternative partnerships should a satisfactory compromise not be reached with 1Time's creditors.

fastjet has also been facing numerous legal obstacles to its buy-out of 1Time, namely a South African law that prevents foreign ownership of a carrier from exceeding 25%.