South African low cost airline 1time to pull out of Mozambican market

10 August 2011

Johannesburg, South Africa, 10 Aug – Low cost airline 1time plans to bring its Johannesburg-Maputo route to an end at the end of august after a year of activity, the company’s chief executive said blaming restrictions resulting from the agreement between Mozambique and South Africa for the failure of the route.

The number of available seats for each airline is attributed under the terms of the air agreement between the two countries and 1time received 560 seats a week although its aeroplanes – MacDonnell Douglas 82 – have 157 seats.

This restriction required the company to reduce its number of flights per week from five to four, a decision which, according to Rodney James, speaking to a South African financial newspaper, prevented the company from attracting business passengers.

“With our business model we have to always have our planes full and, although flights on Mondays and Fridays were full of tourists, the other fights were only half full,” said James.

A return ticket on 1time cost 1,544 rand whilst Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique charges a minimum of 1,846 rand and South African Airways 2,580 rand for the Johannesburg-Maputo trip.

Whilst 1time is leaving Maputo, Comair is due to start flying to Maputo in September under the terms of a franchising contract with British Airways.

Comair will operate the route in partnership with Solenta Aviation, using an ATR 42 turbo-prop aircraft and to fly to Maputo twice a day. (macauhub)