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Mango assures customers with existing bookings of being able to travel

The hard, nationwide lockdown worsened problems for operators like Mango airlines, which ended up defaulting on its payments to creditors.

Mango Airlines. Picture: Mango Airlines official Facebook page.

JOHANNESBURG - Mango has appealed to passengers who booked flights with the low-cost carrier not to be discouraged by its financial problems while it makes contingency plans.

Mango has been left in the lurch by SAA Technical for failing to honour payments for maintenance carried out on its fleet.

The airline has now moved to lease aircraft in order to continue ferrying passengers.

Mango’s woes come as the aviation sector tries to claw its way out of massive financial losses due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown.

The hard, nationwide lockdown worsened problems for operators like Mango airlines, which ended up defaulting on its payments to creditors.

One of them is SAA Technical, whose cash flow has been affected by Mango’s inability to meet its debt commitments.

Mango’s Benediction Zubane said that they had made a plan for passengers with existing bookings.

"Mango remains hopeful that a win-win solution between itself and SAA technical in due course. As part of the contingency, Mango will continue to operate via a third party lease arrangement."

Meanwhile, the Public Enterprises Ministry said that what had been happening in the aviation sector reinforced the need for a national carrier.

Spokesperson Sam Mkokeli: "What this shows is the importance of South African Airways to the whole aviation industry."

In his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement next month, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is expected to shed more light on the money needed to start a new airline to replace SAA.

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