SAA low-cost arm Mango Airlines to enter bankruptcy protection, media reports
South African low-cost carrier Mango Airlines, a subsidiary of South African Airways (SAA), has been swedging to maintain its operations because of delays in receiving its portion of state funding from SAA.
Mango will enter a local form of bankruptcy protection, the parent company's head revealed in an interview with a local media. The move would help the airline restructure its business and gain liquid capital support from its shareholders. In the following weeks of August 2021, the unpaid salaries of employees at Mango Airlines would also be represented and discussed.
The funding allocated by the state to SAA is about R10.5 billion ($706 million), out of which Mango Airlines is awaiting its respective share.
"We are aware at a group level there are delayed salaries, and what we can say is the board and the shareholder have agreed that Mango will go into business rescue," said Thomas Kgokolo, acting head of SAA.
On June 11, 2021, the Government of South Africa sold the major equity portion of SAA to a consortium of investors in hopes of reviving the airline.
In April 2021, Mango had to cancel some flights due to overdue payments to Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) but later reached a deal and resumed services.
Kgokolo also mentioned that the airline was anticipating securing the renewal of their Air Operators Certificate (AOC) shortly, which expired on June 30, 2021. This would help the airline to stabilize and catalyze their operations.
With the rising COVID-19 cases in the country, passenger air travel has been further negatively affected due to stringent closure policies and restrictions introduced by the South African Government to battle the pandemic.
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