The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has confirmed that they have lifted the suspension on Mango Airlines – with immediate effect.
ACSA had previously suspended the low-cost airline company from using its airports as it had outstanding debt.
In a lengthy statement, ACSA said their representatives held meetings with Mango executives regarding payment.
ACSA informed the airline, in writing, that while it appreciated the continued efforts to settle the outstanding debt, the company could not further extend credit to Mango.
In its letter to Mango, ACSA said that this was due in part to previous arrangements not being adhered to, most notably the cash basis terms.
ACSA said Mango has since made a payment towards the amount owed for landing fees, parking fees and passenger service charges.
“The airline has made further undertakings to settle the remaining debt. It is under these circumstances that Airports Company South Africa has agreed to lift the suspension on Mango Airlines.
“The approach of Airports Company South Africa to our business relationship with Mango Airlines is consistent with our approach to other airlines based on the terms and conditions entered into contractually, details of which remain confidential,” ACSA said.
Mango officials to meet with Treasury
Mango, which flies to at least eight destinations, announced last week that it would temporarily halt operations from May 1. Mango added that it would temporarily suspend flights to Zanzibar.
Speculation is rife that the airline could go into business rescue while awaiting funding from the government.
According to BusinessTech, Comair Ltd, one of Mango’s two main domestic rivals, was put into a local form of bankruptcy protection in May last year before resuming flights with support from lenders and investors.
The company operates the Kulula brand and is the local partner for IAG SA’s British Airways.
Other rivals to Mango include FlySafair, which has previously indicated an interest in buying Mango, and smaller airlines SA Airlink and CemAir.
Mango is expected to meet with the Treasury to find a solution to its ongoing woes.
SAA multi-billion Rand bailout
Meanwhile, it has been widely reported that national carrier, South African Airlines is set to get a multi-billion Rand bailout later this year while the search continues for private investors.
SAA is currently under business rescue that kicked off in 2019. The airline has yet to resume commercial flights.
In February, Deputy President David Mabuza justified the government’s decision to ‘save’ SAA.
“On the matter of government funding of the South African Airways, we must clarify upfront that the delivery of social and other services, and investing in the country’s state-owned enterprises as crucial drivers for development, should not be seen as mutually exclusive,” he said.
Mabuza added that on the contrary, funding of SAA should be understood in line with preserving strategic and catalytic state instruments for transformation, growth, development, service delivery and employment creation.
He said the government has considered the obligations of the state especially if SAA was to be liquidated.
“We understood that this could be achieved through the reprioritisation in budget allocations, and that departments will have to adjust spending priorities and programmes to take into account the revised baseline allocations over the next three years,” the Deputy President said.
Mabuza said that the benefits of ensuring that SAA is kept afloat and contributes to the country’s economy, far outweighs those of collapsing the national carrier.