Airline 1time denies liquidation, looks to UK for cash injection

2012-11-06 00:00

BELEAGUERED airline 1time was yesterday hoping a cash injection from the United Kingdom would be its saving grace.

The SABC reported yesterday that CEO Blacky Komane said they would know their fate after 48 hours.

“We are still in talks with the United Kingdom. The survival of this company depends on capital injection … We need capital injections,” he was quoted by the SABC news website.

The airline denied reports that it had filed for liquidation, saying it only halted operations. However, Solidarity’s Marius Croucamp said that as far as they knew, there was no deal waiting on the wings to rescue the embattled airline.

“We would love for that to be the case, but as far as we know, the deal is off,” he told The Witness.

An automated e-mail response from a 1time official yesterday read: “Please note that 1time is liquidated, there is no available to attend to your e-mails [sic].”

The website also stated that the company had applied for business liquidation and that all operations had been grounded.

In a statement on Friday, Komani said: “It is therefore with the utmost regret, disappointment and heartfelt disbelief that we have to file for liquidation, which means the end of a dream and an era for all of us.”

Solidarity yesterday said British low-cost airline FastJet Plc was allegedly on the brink of purchasing 1time on Friday.

Croucamp said before the sale fell through at the last minute, they were under the impression it would be a done deal.

“We don’t know the reasons why it fell through,” said Croucamp.

He said 1time’s management met with the business rescue practitioner on Friday after the setback and it was decided they would apply for liquidation as a last resort.

He added that 540 of 1time’s employees were now out of work.

Solidarity would speak to other airlines to find work for the affected employees.

However, Croucamp said “that would be hard considering it was a declining industry”.

When FastJet Plc was approached for comment, they promised to get back to The Witness yesterday, but never did.

Sapa reported that spokesperson Refilwe Masemola said a full statement will be released today.

The Witness’s attempts to get hold of her were unsuccessful.

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