Hundreds stranded as 1time cans flights

Cape Town - Hundreds of passengers have been left stranded on Friday as bankrupt airline 1time cancelled all flights with immediate effect.

A 1time executive confirmed to Fin24 that the airline's final flight was at 15:00 on Friday, and that no further flights are scheduled.

The move came after the low-cost airline filed for liquidation after a final meeting with shareholders on Friday afternoon.

The order was given shortly before 15:00.

Speaking to stranded passengers at Cape Town International Airport, it became clear to Fin24 that airline staff were unaware of the talks and the decision to file for liquidation.

"Just after three, we were all still queuing when we were told there won't be any more flights," one passenger told Fin24.

"It's so sad. All the staff have also lost their jobs," said the passenger, who did not want to be named.

It is unclear at the moment what will happen to staff or where ticket holders should go, as the 1time website is also down.

It's also uncertain how the news will impact a recent agreement with Fresh Air, the Zimbabwean-registered low-cost airline.

Fresh Air was to launch its first flight on Friday, flying between OR Tambo International Airport to Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe.

Fresh Air only recently entered into a joint venture agreement with 1time, according to which 1time aircraft will be used to serve the Fresh Air route.

1time was hoping to capitalise on a bumper festive season, but this is sadly not to be. Airlines make most of their money over the December period when margins are higher as demand increases.

1time has been under business rescue for a few months under the sterling leadership of new CEO Blacky Komani.

The airline owes various institutions, including Airports Company South Africa, about R350m.

Following shortly after the liquidation of Velvet Sky, this comes as a blow to South African consumers.

 - Fin24

Follow James-Brent Styan on @jamesstyan.

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