Fastjet promises low fares

UK-based Fastjet is in talks to buy low-cost airline 1time.

UK-based Fastjet is in talks to buy low-cost airline 1time. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - London-based airline Fastjet has promised travellers can expect very low fares when it enters the South African market.

Fastjet, a subsidiary of publically-listed company Lonrho, is negotiating buying 1time airline and reaching an agreement with its creditors.

The local low-cost airline filed for provisional liquidation several weeks ago.

Today was set down as the date for the final liquidation, but it was not clear whether this had been extended.

Liquidator Aviwe Ndyamara earlier told The Mercury he would request that the deadline be pushed to February while talks with Fastjet continued.

He said he was hopeful a deal would be finalised soon.

Fastjet's chief commercial officer, Richard Bodin, said the company has been considering investing in South Africa for some time, before the 1time opportunity presented itself.

"We had to make a statement earlier on this week because word had got out that we were in talks, so we had to put a clarification statement out there," Bodin said.

He added that talks were continuing, though they had not reached "any conclusions as yet."

Bodin said they had hoped to start flying before Christmas, but this would depend on how the negotiations progressed.

In response to a question about fares on the Kieno Kammies Show on 567 Cape Talk, the Fastjet executive said: "I wouldn't like to talk about specific routes, but certainly we'll be coming into the market very low-fared."