Lift adds extra flights to help stranded Mango passengers

Recently launched budget airline Lift has announced it has added extra flights to its schedule to assist Mango passengers affected by the airline’s grounding.

Mango flights were suspended on Wednesday due to outstanding payments to the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).

“We can confirm that our services and all flights are temporarily suspended for today only,” Mango said in a statement on Twitter.

As part of the arrangement with Lift, Mango will be contacting and rebooking some of its affected passengers to fly with Lift to ensure they can travel as planned.

Lift currently only operates on the Johannesburg-Cape Town route but is also looking to assist with additional flights on other domestic routes.

“Lift has agreed to accommodate passengers where possible. We will update you on any further changes,” the company said.

Mango Interim CEO William Ndlovu said the airline was doing everything it could to accommodate its passengers and appreciated Lift’s offer to assist.

Lift CEO Jonathan Ayache said the airline was happy to help in any way it could, especially given the number of people travelling for the school holidays.

Lift co-founders Gidon Novick and Jonathan Ayache
Lift co-founders Gidon Novick and Jonathan Ayache.

Mango’s suspension of flights on Wednesday came after a report from BusinessDay on Sunday stated that a delay in government funding would result in the airline grounding flights from 1 May.

Travel agencies followed with warnings that flights might not go forward as scheduled next month.

The issues started earlier than anticipated, however, as passenger booked on Mango flights were seen stranded at OR Tambo Airport on Wednesday morning.

Passengers were met with empty counters and no Mango employees to assist with checking in, and claimed they had received no communication from Mango about the cancellation of flights.

Update – ACSA lifts suspension

ACSA on Wednesday afternoon said it had lifted the suspension on Mango following a part payment towards the amount owed to it for landing fees, parking fees, and passenger service charges.

“The airline has made further undertakings to settle the remaining debt,” ACSA said.

It added its approach to Mango was consistent with its business relationships with other airlines and based on the terms and conditions entered into contractually.

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Lift adds extra flights to help stranded Mango passengers