Monday, September 9, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: PAKAfrica Aviation clarifies its designs on 1Time and its launch plans.

PAKAviation Africa has clarified its plans to establish a new regional African carrier using a restructured 1Time Airline (T6) as its foundation. According to the Dubai/Pakistani-backed firm, 1Time Holdings Ltd is to be used as a housing company for assets once a controlling stake (still pending regulatory approval) is acquired. 

In a statement to The African Aviation Tribune, PAK said its move to acquire 1Time Holdings pertained to the view that a Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed firm would bring with it greater transparency and corporate governance. Once acquired, 1Time Holdings would become the holding company for both PAK Aviation Africa and its Zimbabwean subsidiary, "1Time Zimbabwe" - a 49/51 partnership with Central Air Transport Services (CATS).

PAK Africa Aviation (Pty) Ltd is currently in the process of applying for a South African Air Operator's Certificate with its Zimbabwean subsidiary already possessing one by virtue of its majority shareholder, Oscar Madombwe.

Once all the technicalities have been finalized, 1Time Holdings will then be equipped with a new fleet of aircraft - initially ATR42s and ATR72s - for onward placement at both PAK Africa Aviation and 1Time Zimbabwe. An official launch date will be announced once the JSE transaction is finalized though Zimbabwean flights have been provisionally scheduled for October 2013.

The initial plan is to start domestic flights in both South Africa and Zimbabwe with regional short haul routes ("within a 5 hour radius") to follow thereafter. Flights to India and Pakistan will be considered after two years of operations.

The group is led by Mrs Tabassum Abdul Qadir, a seasoned entrepreneur with an  excess of 15 years international experience in African markets. The Pak Africa group are already firmly entrenched in Africa with offices in Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi focusing on manufacturing and textile distribution.