DALLAS – The administrator of the grounded South African low-cost carrier (LCC) Mango (JE) has asked the International Air Service Council (IASC) to overturn its decision to cancel the airline’s operating licence. This follows the launch of a legal bid for the South African public enterprises minister to make a decision on a potential rescue deal for the airline.
Sipho Sono, JE’s business rescue practitioner (BRP), has said that he will be lodging an appeal after writing to the IASC to explain its decision.
Mango, a South African Airways (SA) subsidiary, took to the skies in November 2006. It was placed into formal financial restructuring by its parent in July 2021 after being forced to temporarily suspend flights in April due to payments owed to airports operator ACSA.
Hopes that the LCC would receive some of the R10.5bn (US$706m) state aid issued to SA were not forthcoming. Mango was subsequently grounded after failing to make payments o the country’s air navigation services provider ATNS.
Since then, the carrier has been up for sale but has encountered numerous hurdles. Owner SA raised several concerns to the South African government when it formally applied to offload its shares in the company.
Government approval for the sale was also not forthcoming, which has delayed any announcements from potential bidders. Sono announced that if a solution cannot be found, then it will leave no choice but to wind down the airline.
Featured Image: Mango Boeing 737-800 (ZS-SJA). Photo: Michael Combrink/Airways.