Fastjet has agreed to buy collapsed South African budget carrier 1time for $0.12.
Conclusion of the deal would give the low fares newcomer the right to operate domestic and regional air services in South Africa in 2013.
The initial routes will serve the cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London.
Fastjet will take over up to three of the 12 aircraft that were in the 1time fleet when the business went into provisional liquidation.
Chief executive Ed Winter said: “I am pleased we have managed to reach a provisional agreement with all parties to buy 1time.
“Due to protracted negotiations we will not have 1time flying before Christmas but very much hope that 1time will be flying again early in the new year.
“Flights will initially be operated by a number of aircraft from the 1time fleet including McDonnell Douglas MD-82s, MD-83s and MD-87s. In due course we plan to re-fleet with modern Airbus A319 aircraft.”
He added: “The acquisition of 1time supports Fastjet’s growth into a pan-African low-cost carrier and the synergies with Fastjet’s existing operations will potentially increase the number of available route networks from South Africa into the rest of Africa. 1time will be rebranded as Fastjet brand and sold through fastjet.com.
“We are working with the South African authorities who, like us, are completely committed to helping the airline industry in South Africa develop for the benefit of all the people.
“Lower fares mean more economic growth, more jobs and more prosperity. We hope to keep many of the original 1time staff employed.
“With the co-operation of the shareholders of 1time we can build an airline that will provide a real choice to South Africans, based on the great reputation of 1time and the low-cost experience of Fastjet.