Staff protest as 1time bosses seek new licence

2012-12-05 00:00

FORMER employees of the doomed 1time airline are incensed at news that the founders of the company have applied for a licence to operate another airline.

The news came as Fin24 quoted a British-owned low-cost airline, fastjet, as saying it was in talks to buy 1time from its liquidators.

Former 1time employees will gather outside the Transport Department offices in Pretoria this morning to object to the decision by the airline’s former management to apply for a new low-cost carrier operating licence.

Department spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso confirmed that the 1time directors had applied for a licence.

A former employee said they were hoping for a good turnout from all those who were left unemployed by the airline’s collapse. In a letter to the Air Services Licensing Council, they said that allowing the founders of the airline to re-enter the market would give them the “opportunity to enrich themselves and exit the market again to [further] their own personal agendas”.

Attempts to contact the directors were not successful.

Meanwhile, Fin24 reported that fastjet was considering acquiring 1time in a deal involving a nominal fee for the purchase. The deal would also involve reaching a settlement with 1time’s creditors.

fastjet is the holding company for an African airline, Fly540, which operates from Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Angola. Last month fastjet reportedly pulled out of last-minute negotiations to save 1time, prompting the airline to file for liquidation.

1time had about R320 million in short-term debt and had been in negotiations with creditors since March.

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