UPDATE 1-S.Africa budget airline 1time files for liquidation

Fri Nov 2, 2012 12:00pm EDT

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* Small budget airline files for liquidation

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov 2 (Reuters) - South African budget airline 1time Holdings said on Friday it had filed for liquidation and cancelled its flights, after pulling the plug on a rescue plan.

The airline, which operated flights within South Africa, said in August it had launched a turnaround plan to right its money-losing business.

"At the board meeting held today... it was recognised and agreed that the business had no reasonable prospect of being rescued," the company said in a statement to the stock exchange.

Trading in its shares - which have lost 87 percent of their value this year - would be halted, the company said.

Local media reported that hundreds of passengers were left stranded after the airline cancelled all its flights at 3:00 p.m. (1300 GMT).

The money-losing airline had 16 million rand ($1.85 million)in long-term debt on its balance sheet as of the end of December, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Its total liabilities at the time came to 536 million rand. ($1 = 8.6513 South African rand) (Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Jon Herskovitz)

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