“In a year or two, 1time will be the biggest brand in Africa,” Tabassum Qadir, the Managing Director of Pak Africa told CNBC Africa on Thursday.
She stated that Pak Africa Aviation wants 1time to become a regional carrier, with their main vision being to connect all of Africa.
The acquisition entails Pak Africa buying the 1time brand name through 1time Holdings.
“Initially, the plan was to acquire 1time airlines but when we put our offer of 15 million rand in, the criteria was to get a building and two aircrafts. Those were the only assets so we pulled the deal and are now rather going for the 1time name,” said Qadir.
With the airline being in 450 million rand worth of debt and two outdated air crafts, the initial deal would not have been worth it. She stated that Pak Africa will be bringing their fleet of aircraft into the business.
The starting point for the airline, Qadir pointed out, will be in Harare as Pak Africa has teamed up with Oscar Madombwe, the former Chief Executive Officer of Air Zimbabwe, and has taken over 49 per cent of Madombwe’s airline, Central Air Transport Services.
The partnership brings in domestic and international air rights which will allow 1time to fly from Harare to other Zimbabwean towns such as Bulawayo and Mutare. Internationally, they will be able to fly to cities such as Johannesburg, Luanda, Lusaka, Lilongwe, Maputo and London.
“I have a passion for aviation because it’s the best way to connect Africa. Also we come from a trading background so as traders it’ll be easier for us to manage the airline,” exclaimed Qadir.
According to reports, Pak Africa is made up of a group of high net worth individuals from Pakistan as well as other Middle Eastern countries that invest in various projects across Africa.
The company is already well established in the manufacturing industry as well as in Forex trading and also have infrastructure setup across Africa, which will make it easier for them to run 1time.
Qadir explained that the group focuses on investing in countries with large populations as that is where they usually experience the highest turnovers.
“Our strategy is to just replicate our 20 years of experience into this aviation industry,” she said.
“1 time will come a second time but with a bigger bank.” Qadir concluded.