1time goes bust, passengers stranded

Check-in counters at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport were closed after 1time filed for liquidation on 2 November, 2012. Picture: Sheldon Morais/EWN
Passengers at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg try to book with other airlines after 1time filed for liquidation on 2 November, 2012. Picture: EWN.
1time CEO Blacky Komani speaks to EWN’s Mandy Wiener on the low-cost carrier’s liquidation on Friday, November 2, 2012.
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JOHANNESBURG - There were long queues, angry passengers, tearful flight attendants and outright confusion at airports in six cities across South Africa on Friday after low-cost airline 1time went bust.

This airline filed for liquidation on Friday afternoon and its last flight took off just before 3pm.

There were questions around the company’s finances for several months, with the carrier operating under business rescue.

Passengers were turned away and told to buy tickets with a different airline.

1time’s ticket offices were shut and the check-in counters were empty.

Scores of frustrated passengers said they do not know what to do next or where to turn.

Some passengers had already checked in their luggage and were about to board their flights when the news broke.

“Everybody was in the queue and then the news broke. As we were about to get on the plane, they said the company has gone bankrupt, but the flight is definitely going to take off.

“I found out the news on Twitter. I asked a flight attendance and she said how could I ask her when she does not have a job anymore.”

One woman in Cape Town was scheduled to fly to Durban.

“This is an extreme inconvenience and they should have given us warning before hand.”

1time CEO Blacky Komani said flights were grounded and they were talking to other airlines to assist stranded passengers.

Company officials are also working to assist passengers with refunds.

“There is going to be a refund process.”

(Edited by Zethu Zulu)

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has urged affected customers to contact 1Time on: (011) 086-8300 / (011) 086-8000.