South Africa's Mango In Crunch Talks With Maintenance Provider
South African LCC Mango is in “sensitive” talks with maintenance provider South African Airways Technical (SAAT), triggering questions over the airline’s continued operations.
“Critical discussions with Mango and SAAT are still continuing today and we are hopeful of a resolution,” Mango said via its Twitter account Sept. 27.
“Updates will be made available as soon as possible. Mango continues to operate as per schedule under these challenging times and all customers are always urged to check Mango’s website for any changes to their flight status.”
On Sept. 26, Mango confirmed that “key and sensitive discussions” were taking place with SAAT, but no further details were given and the airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
SAAT is the sister company to South African Airways (SAA) and Mango, which all fall within the state-owned SAA Group.
Aviation Daily approached SAA’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for comment on local media reports that SAAT is withholding services to SAA and Mango because of non-payment of bills.
“Yes, I believe that [SAAT] sent a letter as such. However, [SAA’s] BRPS can confirm that all [SAA] scheduled repatriation flights have not been affected,” the SAA BRP spokeswoman said.
SAA’s schedule is currently limited to repatriation flights; no other SAA flights are operating. SAA itself is waiting on critical short-term funding to proceed with its business-rescue plan.
“The only way the repatriation flights can work is through payment received for the flights,” the SAA BRP spokeswoman said.
South Africa has been progressively relaxing its COVID-19 restrictions since June and international flights are expected to resume on Oct. 1. Mango resumed limited domestic flights between Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town on June 15.
SAAT declined to comment on the situation, redirecting media queries to SAA. An SAA spokesperson said Mango should be approached for comment, but no reply had been received from Mango at the time of publication.