New airline to spark price war, says report

New low-cost airline Airtime is expected to spark a price war with rival airlines—if it takes off later this month as planned, Business Day reported on Tuesday.

Fares for flights between Durban and Johannesburg from January 25 to March 22 are being sold for as little as R225 for a one-way ticket, excluding airport charges.

Glenn Orsmond, CEO of 1Time Holdings, told Business Day that Airtime’s fares were clearly aimed at launching the airline and could not be sustained.

He said that 1Time would not reduce its fares in response.

However, whether Airtime will take to the skies on January 25 is still in doubt.

Blackbird Aviation, the group behind the new airline, was pursuing an agreement last year with Lanseria-based aviation group Air Aquarius to lease three Boeing 737-200s and use the company’s air operator certificate (AOC).

However, Air Aquarius CEO Gavin Branson said on Monday that the deal had collapsed and that his company would no longer be partnering with Blackbird Aviation.

“That appears to leave Airtime with no aircraft and no AOC barely three weeks before it is due to begin flights between Johannesburg and Durban,” the newspaper said.

Blackbird Aviation CEO Vino Eargambram was unavailable for comment, Business Day added.—Sapa


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