mango flights

Mango flights banned from ACSA airports – Here’s why

Andile Sicetsha - 28.04.2021

Mango flights have been banned from all ACSA airports. Here’s a message from the airline on what stranded passengers can do.

SAA subsidiary Mango Airlines has been ex-communicated from all ACSA (Airports Company South Africa) airports, on Wednesday, leaving passengers stranded at departure ports with no alternative travel options.

Why did ACSA ban Mango Airlines?

As reported by The Citizen, rumours of a turbulent payment negotiation between Mango and ACSA have been rumbling on for weeks. At first, both parties would not be baited into confirming or denying anything.

“Unfortunately at this point, we are unable to respond to your questions. Please rather speak directly to Mango airlines as they are best positioned to respond to your questions,” ACSA’s Refentse Shinners told the cited publication on Monday.

Two days later, it seems the speculation was true. eNCA reported that all Mango flights have been suspended due to non-payment to ACSA.

Mango released a statement on Wednesday morning, notifying its passengers of the flight interruptions and delays. In it, no alternative measures were offered to stranded passengers, only the hope that the airline will manage to clear the runway for their fleet to operate again ‘soon’.

Is the airline going out of business?

This level of embarrassment, for a state-owned airline, could spell the end of its existence. Already, the absence of flight bookings from Saturday 1 May is a glaring indication of the latter.

The airline has, for a long time, leaned on the leniency of the Public Enterprises Department. However, Minister Pravin Gordhan and his cohorts, it’s said, have left Mango and its woes in the lurch and this lack of financial support has scuppered all hopes of a recovery.

When asked what would happen in the event that Mango closes its doors on passengers who’ve made future bookings, the airline’s spokesperson Benediction Zubane said:

“Our clients will not be prejudiced in whatever shape or form. We will communicate way forward if any in due course.”