Low-priced airline 1Time has sold 70 million shares to a black economic empowerment (BEE) consortium headed by its chairman, Sipho Twala, and plans to use the equity capital of R49 million to grow the airline and its maintenance and charter business.
Glenn Orsmond, the 1Time group chief executive, said the funding would “give impetus to our growth plans for the airline by introducing new routes into Africa, as well as facilitate the growth of the airline maintenance business”.
1Time was looking for opportunities anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa and hoped to form partnerships with local airlines. Its competitiveness would be increased by being able to fly from Lanseria Airport, as well as from OR Tambo International Airport. Until now rival kulula.com has had exclusive use of Lanseria.
Twala said 1Time hoped to obtain air traffic rights to flights to Victoria falls, Zimbabwe and to Lusaka in Zambia in addition to its route to Livingstone on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. It would also like to fly to Lubumbashi and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The members of the BEE consortium have experience in the aviation or travel business.
In addition to Twala, Busiwe Magongo, the managing director of Mtha Aviation, has been appointed an executive director of 1Time Holdings. Blacky Komani, the chairman of Mtha Aviation, will serve as a non-executive director.
1Time shares fell 5.71 percent to close at 66c yesterday, while the JSE’s travel and leisure sector rose 0.06 percent. - Audrey D’Angelo