Investigation into SAA, Mango to go ahead

The probe will go on despite SAA back-tracking an earlier statement it leased aircrafts at a discounted price.

South African Airways plane. Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - Embattled state-owned airline South African Airways ( SAA) is now the focus of an investigation by the Competition Commission into whether it helped low-cost carrier Mango to the disadvantage of competitors.

The move comes after SAA stated earlier this month that it had leased aircrafts to Mango at a discounted price.

It later back-tracked, insisting there was full recovery of its costs.

But the investigation is still going ahead.

Commission spokesperson Itumeleng Lesofe says in terms of the Competition Act, once a complaint has been filed, an investigation must be conducted.

"So we are now conducting an investigation into the complaints to determine whether or not there has been a contravention of the act."

Lesofe says the commission has a year in which to complete its probe.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Natasha Mazzone says among the questions the party wants answered is how much the leasing arrangement cost tax payers.

She says the investigation is a step towards evaluating and restricting uncompetitive business practices in the airline industry.