Mango to return to service

Mango to return to service
Mango logo

The sale of Mango Airline just awaits its sale agreement to be approved by SAA and the Department of Public Enterprises. Should this happen in the near future the defunct carrier can return to service in time for the December peak-season traffic, says Jordan Butler, former Chairman of the Mango Pilots Association.

While Butler is wary about dealing with the national government and its decisions, he says Sipho Sono, Mango’s Business Rescue Practitioner (BRP), had done everything in his power to see the deal go through.

According to a monthly status update for the airline’s creditors published by the BRP at the start of September, Mango’s preferred bidder has provided all the necessary information required to make the agreement official. Sono’s update, the sale is now only subject to the approval of a change of ownership of Mango’s air services licences by the Air Services Licensing Council (ASLC), notification of the transaction to the Competition Commission, and approval from the DPE and SAA.

Mango’s creditors have been told that the BRP has done everything possible to ensure that Mango’s buyer had the working capital and the availability of funds to resume operations, adequate skills to operate an airline, plans for securing aircraft, and a route network and expansion plan.

“As previously indicated, the disposal of shares by South African Airways SOC Limited requires SAA to notify and seek approval of the transaction in terms of the Public Finance Management Act No 1 of 1999. In accordance with the BR Plan, the BRP will compile an application and submit to relevant parties for consideration and/or approvals. The BRP will further engage with both the DPE and SAA to agree next steps and any announcements to be made in due course,” the update said.

Sono said Mango and the bidder work with the ASLC and submit the required documentation as soon as possible. This would facilitate the lifting of the suspension of Mango’s domestic licences, he explained.

Meanwhile, Rodger Foster, CEO and MD of Airlink, said there was room for competition in the market, provided new and revived players traded responsibly.

“Airlink supports a competitive market as long as the playing field is level, the rules are applied consistently, and participants do not resort to unsustainable tactics such as flooding the market with sub-economic fares to gain market share, which, as we have seen in the past, weakens the entire sector. Airlink is happy to compete but will not be distracted from its strategy of building a network and schedule that gives passengers and cargo customers unmatched and great value, choice, reach, and service.”

Airlink has a strong commercial relationship with with British Airways and other global carriers nd the CEO says the airline looks forward to continuing that relationsip. SAA is apparently is in talks to take over the British Airways franchise from Comair.