Mango Airlines looks set to have all 14 of its aircraft grounded from May – for at least a couple of months – after a cash liquidity issue put the low-budget domestic carrier on the ropes. A leaked memo to staff confirms that the business ‘will not be able to operate flights’ in just three weeks’ time.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer William Ndlovu sent the memo out on Thursday. He explained that Mango Airlines is all but certain to go into business rescue – following the same path traversed by the national carrier, SAA. From 15 May, and throughout most of the winter it seems, there’ll be no orange marvels in the skies of South Africa:
“This means that Mango will not be able to operate from May 15, 2021, due to no aircraft being available for operations. It has been proposed that we must be put into business rescue until July 2021. Our flights will be grounded until such a time where we receive funding or complete the business rescue process.” | William Ndlovu
After several delays in creditor payments, officials confirmed that the airline had reached ‘a difficult situation’. Although this does not spell the end for Mango, and a period of ‘mothballing’ is likely to help get them flying again, those who rely on cheap and cheerful air travel across Mzansi will feel like they’ve lost a limb when this service goes offline:
“At the beginning of April 2021, we were informed that Mango will only receive owed funds in June 2021. This put Mango in a difficult situation – as it relates to further extension from the creditors who could not wait any longer to be paid.”
“The lessors then put an ultimatum to Mango that should they not receive their money by April 30, 2021, then all their aircraft must be grounded until such time that Mango receives the funds and is able to pay. We have been told by the shareholders that there will be no money received by Mango until June 2021.”