Cape Town - Low cost airline Mango CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout announced that the carrier will add two additional new generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft to its fleet at the end of October and in November across its existing network.
The airline said in a press release that it will operate 10 aircraft between 8 airports, representing capacity growth of 150% and network growth of 100% since its launch 8 years ago.
Bezuidenhout said that new routes are in the offing, but likely during the next 6-8 months.
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“The domestic market is near saturation in terms of carriers while few routes remain available that we do not operate already,” he adds that the airline is in the process of reviewing several regional destinations at this time with the likelihood of another East African seaboard route.
“Domestically we are reviewing options too, but at present it makes competitive sense to bulk up on our existing schedule.”
Bezuidenhout said Mango’s approach to growth has been consistently prudent, stating that Mango's profitability in 6 out of 7 full fiscals was not easily achieved.
Commenting on new airlines entering the domestic market Bezuidenhout said the introduction of a second new airline would "exhaust the sector".
“The market has contracted substantially since 2008 and, with margins under pressure again this year, it is a fact that the sector cannot sustain more capacity on obviously popular routes such as Johannesburg Cape Town and Johannesburg Durban.”
"While below cost fares feed airline launches, it would be impossible to sustain."
Mango presently operates the largest distribution of any other airline in the country, with more than 40 flights daily between most of South Africa’s major centres as well as twice weekly flights between Johannesburg and Zanzibar. It is the only airline in Africa to offer on board Wi-Fi on the majority of its fleet and was also recently awarded the Skytrax World Airline Award as Africa’s Best Low Cost Airline.
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