Cape Town – Low-cost carrier FlySafair says it is still prepared to buy Mango "for the right price".
The SAA-owned carrier posted a net loss of R36.9 million for the year ended March 2016, with the decline in profit posted after the airline made a net profit of R40.26m in 2013/14 and R38m in 2014/15.
This was the first time the airlines financial statements were released separately to parent company South African Airways (SAA).
Mango’s loss comes even though it has been accused of allegedly engaging in predatory pricing as it sub-leases aircraft SAA parent company, South African Airways (SAA), which is itself under serious financial pressure, after reporting a loss of R5.6 billion in two years and failing to secure another bailout from Treasury.
Elmar Conradie, CEO of FlySafair, said the carrier would buy Mango Airlines from the government at the right price.
“Mango’s fleet and operating model is closer to FlySafair’s low-cost approach, and would be a more natural extension to FlySafair’s successful business model. Operating a larger fleet would afford us the opportunity to enjoy even larger economies of scale – and through this, sustain lower fares to the flying public.”
In a statement issued on Tuesday, toting Mango’s decade of "creating value across every aspect of air travel", the airline indicated it would be leaning towards austerity going forward with no new route expansions or fleet increases planned. Its core focus would remain "delivering value" to the traveller.
Acting Chief Executive Nic Vlok maintains "Mango’s highly cash positive position and proactive commercial agility has and will stand the airline in good stead during challenging times", however saying “The market remains oversubscribed in terms of available capacity; Mango took a strategic decision some months ago to disengage from unsustainable price sparring between other low-cost carriers and focus on our strengths, product and track record while remaining affordable and widening our distribution reach."
Kirby Gordon, Head of Sales and Distribution at FlySafair, says its low operating cost per seat would allow it to contest the market at the current low fares, adding it "would also take some financial burden off the government" if it were to purchase Mango.
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