1time was a South African LCC with its main bases at Johannesburg OR Tambo International and Cape Town International airports. Launched in 2004 as one of South Africa's first LCCs, 1time operated a fleet of MD80 aircraft across a domestic network linking the country's main metropolitan areas of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London and George. 1time suspended services on 02-Nov-2012.
Location of 1time main hub (Johannesburg Oliver R Tambo International Airport)
1Time Holdings share price
108 total articles
21 total articles
fastjet has reported a USD42 million net loss for the six months to 30-Jun-2013, but its directors remain upbeat about the fledgling African LCC’s prospects, with its Tanzanian domestic operations exceeding expectations and making a profit on an underlying route basis. But the directors acknowledge in the unaudited accounts that the carrier will need to raise further funds in the future “which represents a material uncertainty over going concern”.
fastjet’s ambition to establish Africa's first pan-African low-cost carrier is continuing to encounter strong headwinds. On its own admission, the Tanzanian market is too small to sustain the company and international expansion is critical to its longer term survival.
But the first international route from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg has, perhaps predictably, run foul of South Africa’s bureaucrats forcing the eleventh hour postponement of the route launch by about two weeks to the middle of Oct-2013. fastjet will compete against South African Airways (SAA) as the only other operator on the route and has promised to reduce fares by 60%. fastjet is taking online bookings for flights departing from 18-Oct-2013.
FlySafair’s ambitions to launch services on South Africa’s biggest domestic route between Johannesburg and Cape Town from 17-Oct-2013 have been dealt a severe blow by a High Court interdict issued on 8-Oct-2013 restraining FlySafair from operating scheduled domestic passenger services pending a review of South Africa’s Air Service Licensing Council’s (ASLC) decision to grant the carrier a licence to operate.
The interim injunction has stalled, temporarily at least, a looming battle in the South African domestic market into which FlySafair and fellow LCC start-up SkyWise are planning to launch, ending a brief period where the South African Airways and Comair groups enjoyed a duopoly following the demise of LCC 1time in Nov-2012.
Comair, which operates as LCC Kulula, and the full service British Airways franchise combined forces with would-be competitor SkyWise to block FlySafair’s launch by challenging the ASLC’s decision. Comair and SkyWise claim that FlySafair does not meet South Africa’s maximum 25% foreign ownership limit to operate domestic services and that one of its directors is not a resident of South Africa.
Africa’s unenviable record of government interference in the continent’s aviation system is demonstrated by no less than nine carriers currently surviving at the behest of their respective governments through a variety of financial support mechanisms collectively worth about USD2.5 billion.
In most cases this support serves only to distort any prospect of a level playing field, preventing privately owned carriers from competing effectively. Nigeria is even taking this a stage further as state support of private carriers is being undermined by a desire to relaunch a government owned national flag carrier. In other cases, such as Uganda, new state-owned airlines are planned to compete with successful privately owned operators in markets that often lack sufficient demand to support them both. Whatever the motives, and many of them are questionable at best, the outcome is sadly predictable.
In most cases Africa’s national carriers suffer at the hands of government mismanagement and interference, key among them is the continent’s largest airline, South African Airways (SAA) which is the subject of the biggest turnaround plan currently under way. This could offer a vital precedent if it succeeds - and if it doesn't.
South Africa’s Comair has bounced back to report a ZAR227.5 million (USD22.8 million) net profit for the financial year to 30-Jun-2013 as the benefits begin to flow from reduced domestic competition and an 18 month transformation strategy, including the implementation of the Sabre IT platform, a freeze on all non-critical costs and the arrival of next generation 737-800 aircraft.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed carrier has benefited from the demise of domestic LCC competitor 1time in Nov-2012 which significantly reduced capacity and has allowed fares to increase substantially as the market returned to a two-group duopoly with South African Airways (SAA). The competitive reprieve looks to be short lived, however, with SkyWise and FlySafair both poised to launch services on the golden Johannesburg-Cape Town route.
This is the second instalment in a two-part series of reports on South African Airways' (SAA) low-cost subsidiary Mango. The first report looked at Mango’s slow pace of expansion in the five years after its Nov-2006 launch and its improved outlook in the domestic market, where the carrier over the last year has begun pursuing faster growth. This report looks at the potential for Mango to operate international services from its South African base and launch new affiliates in other African countries, which would put Mango in competition with new pan-Africa LCC group fastjet.
Potential joint ventures or affiliates have always been part of Mango’s long-term plan. But just as it has been relatively conservative in the domestic market, Mango has been slow to expand in the international market – both organically and in establishing joint ventures.
South African Airways' (SAA) low-cost subsidiary Mango plans to pursue further expansion as it attempts to leverage its position in the domestic market, which has strengthened significantly over the last year. The carrier over the last year has completed the largest expansion phase in its seven-year history, exploiting consolidation in the South African market to increase market share and return to profitability.
The collapse of two LCC competitors in 2012 left Mango and Comair subsidiary Kulula as the only players in South Africa’s dynamic LCC sector. A new carrier is expected to eventually enter the market, leading to another possible phase of over-capacity and irrational competition. But Mango is now well positioned to fend off any new competition and gain more global recognition as a successful example of a full-service airline group budget subsidiary.
Mango is still a tiny carrier with a low global profile. Its counterparts in Asia have received significantly more attention for pioneering the LCC subsidiary strategy. But Mango’s hybrid model has quietly succeeded, providing the building blocks for growth and a bright outlook.