Mango Airlines to be placed into business rescue

SAA interim chief executive Thomas Kgokolo said Mango Airlines, the low-cost arm of state-owned South African Airways (SAA), will be placed into business rescue.

Mango Airlines, trading as Mango, is based at OR Tambo International Airport and is a whole-owned subsidiary of SAA.

Mango was launched in October 2006, and the first commercial flight took place on 15 November 2006.

The airline has a fleet of new generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which boast a seating capacity of 186.

Mango Airlines faced financial challenges and was grounded due to non-payments and debt to Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa). No Mango planes were allowed to depart or land at any Acsa airport.

Kgokolo has now revealed that the Mango board and the government will place the company in business rescue. Consultation with labour groups was underway.

Speaking to ENCA, Kgokolo said some Mango staff were still awaiting delayed salaries. This problem should be addressed in the coming weeks as part of a R2.7 billion bailout given to SAA subsidiaries.

Thomas Kgokolo
Thomas Kgokolo

SAA exited business rescue in April after a lengthy process that reduced its workforce by almost 80%.

The national carrier has been unprofitable for almost a decade, surviving on state bailouts and government debt guarantees. It was placed under administration a year ago.

The airline exited administration after receiving R7.8 billion from the government.

SAA has not yet committed a firm date to recommence operations, promising an announcement in the coming weeks.

Last month, the government announced it would sell a majority stake to a consortium in the country’s grounded national carrier.

The consortium comprised Johannesburg-based Global Airways and private-equity firm Harith General Partners.

They will take a 51% shareholding in South African Airways, and the government will retain a minority stake.

The grouping named Takatso will invest around R3.5 billion rand over the next three years in SAA, Harith CEO Tshepo Mahloele said.

“Government will have no further financial obligations to the company, outside of the existing liabilities that they will settle,” Global Airways’ Gidon Novick said.

“Route networks we are still working on, and it will be a phased rollout based on demand re-emerging post-Covid.”

Now read: South African Airways majority stake sold to private consortium

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Mango Airlines to be placed into business rescue