1time MD-87 Economy Class



1time Airlines is one of South Africa’s low-cost carriers and has been in operation since February 2004. The airline operates both domestic and regional routes. In South Africa, 1Time flies between Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London and George, on a daily basis. From a regional point of view, the airline flies from Johannesburg to Livingstone, Tanzania, Zambia and Zanzibar, whilst this was the inaugural flight to Mombasa, Kenya, with the official schedule kicking off in March.


O.R.Tambo International Airport has two terminals, servicing domestic and international traffic. Thinking I was taking an international flight, I parked in the long-term shaded parking, approximately a hundred metres from Terminal A. But, after wandering around that terminal, searching for the 1Time desk, and not receiving much in the way of help, I was eventually re-directed to Terminal B. There was nothing on my ticket and certainly nothing in the way of signage to indicate that 1Time’s regional flight check-in actually takes place in domestic departures. Once I eventually arrived, 1Time staff had all the check-in counters open and the process was quick and smooth.


Fortunately, I had the 1Time staff directing me, because all regional flight passengers go through immigration in a different area between international and domestic departures. It’s actually on the same level as domestic check-in, but back towards international departures. Once you go through, you’re into the international departures section. Fortunately, the immigration procedure was quick, but that was to be expected at 06h00 in the morning! My only other complaint is that O.R.Tambo International doesn’t have much in the way of smoking areas, but perhaps that’s more a sign that I need to give up a bad habit! Once we were called for our flight, the boarding procedure was quick and efficient.


We flew on a MD-87 and the first thing that struck me was the cleanliness and new shine of the cabin, to the extent that I asked the captain if this aircraft had recently undergone a refurbishment. Being slightly overweight, I normally have to wedge myself into aircraft seats and stay there, but not so on the MD-87. The seats are leather bound and are slightly wider than seats on other types of aircraft. So, I was very comfortable and could move freely, which made the flying experience that much more enjoyable.


Flying time between Johannesburg and Mombasa is about 3 ¾ hours. The flight was very smooth. A fairly standard in-flight breakfast was served and it was adequate, followed by the customary beverages. Being a regional flight, the bar was opened earlier than normal, which I rather enjoyed. We landed on time in Mombasa, which is an hour ahead (GMT+3) of South African time.


Being the inaugural 1Time flight to Mombasa, we were welcomed by the customary water jets, as well as the Kenyan Tourism Minister and various other dignitaries. Passport control was efficient and the customs officials were friendly and welcoming.


Would I fly 1Time again? Yes. And that has a lot to do with the comfort of the seats. I believe this route will be very popular with both the leisure and incentive markets, as there are numerous resorts both north and south of Mombasa. The first scheduled Johannesburg-Mombasa flight was due to take off in early March, and the plan is to operate this route twice a week.


Web: 1time.aero

Pierre Grobler