1time signs agreement to launch Zim LCC

by SA Tourism news
(6th August 2012)

1time Airline has confirmed that it has concluded a joint venture agreement with Nu-Aero (Pvt) Ltd, trading as Fresh Air, a registered Zimbabwean company. Fresh Air is jointly owned by Zimbabwe’s Nu.Com (Pvt) Ltd and 1time holdings. The strategic partnership has resulted in the launch of Zimbabwe’s first low-cost airline, Fresh Air, which will offer flights initially from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, beginning in September.

As part of the initial agreement, 1time will cease its current Livingstone service in favour of a Johannesburg-Victoria Falls service, which will subsequently become a Fresh Air operation. Under the joint venture, 1time will use its aircraft to serve the route and Fresh Air will provide the licences to operate in Zimbabwe.

Both airlines will initially co-operate in a wide range of operational and commercial facets, including provision of aircraft and crew as well as administrative functions such as revenue management and revenue accounting.

Fresh Air and 1time have completed the Civil Aviation Authority’s regulatory demonstration flight from OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, to Harare International Airport, before flying to Victoria Falls and then back to Johannesburg.

Blacky Komani, 1time ceo, says the new agreement with Fresh Air gives both companies an opportunity to take advantage of the fact that Africa is the only continent where the low-cost carrier model is yet to take off regionally.

“Our partnership with Fresh Air is simple. We share our experience and infrastructure in the aviation industry while Fresh Air launches Zimbabwe’s first low-cost carrier, with licences to operate the underserviced domestic market and various regional routes to be announced in the near future. In doing so, Fresh Air is creating jobs and building a foundation for a sustainable business.”

Chakanyuka Karase, Fresh Air ceo, says the airline’s entry into the market and strategic partnership with 1time will provide Zimbabwe with a real opportunity to stimulate domestic and regional air travel ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation conference.

“The entry of a low-cost carrier in Zimbabwe has great potential and we are proud to have launched this partnership with 1time, which already has palpable successes in the no-frills market. We have absolutely no doubt that this business model will succeed, as it is exactly what our emerging economy needs to maintain sustainability and is an efficient way to connect families, businesses and tourist destinations.”

1time will have a short-term dispensation to operate aircraft on the ZS register, while executing a migration to a Zimbabwean registered and crewed operation. This process will be carried out within a year.

“Our joint venture not only demonstrates that we foster successful cross-border partnerships but that together we contribute to regional growth in Africa by providing people with additional travel options at affordable prices,” concludes Blacky.

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