Mango celebrates ten years of creating value across every aspect of air travel

Published Tuesday, November 15, 2016
  • Ten years ago Mango went on sale with the largest e-commerce event of its time notching up more than 10 000 fare queries per minute online in the opening days of trade.
  • Mango’s first flight, JE 123 from Johannesburg to Cape Town, took to the skies on 15 November 2006 when the airline launched with its first four Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Today Mango operates a fleet of 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and in most months recently recorded it has become the largest domestic airline by traveler volume.
  • Mango carried its one-millionth Guest in record time and has continued its ambitious path of innovation and achievement ever since.
  • Mango was the first domestic low-cost airline to retail through Shoprite and Checkers Money Market Counters, it was the first airline in the world (and remains so to this day) that accepts store account cards (Edcon’s account cards) as payment method online and through its call centre.
  • Innovation is a cornerstone of the airline’s business case; Mango was the first African airline to launch an app for booking, payment and travel management across all major mobile platforms and remains the only airline on the continent to offer in-flight Wi-Fi on some of its aircraft.
  • Mango has carried over 20 million Guests during its first decade across over a million flights.
  • During the last decade Mango operated more than 126 000 flights across 8 network points and accumulated in excess of 183 000 flight hours during that time.
  • Mango’s average on-time arrival performance over the past ten years averages well over 90%.  The airline has been profitable in the majority of completed fiscals. 
  • Mango contributed in excess of R 100m to the national fiscus through collection of taxes and fees.
  • Mango is one of the most transformed airlines in South Africa and also employs the most transformed low cost airline pilot body in the country, exceeding its target of 10% black pilots set in 2014/15 by 6%.
  • The airline is also highly engaged in the community; its philosophy of being an airline for all the people of South Africa has come to life over the past ten years. During that time Mango has constructed several vegetable gardens in underprivileged communities for purposes of job creation through cooperative urban agriculture and nutrition while nearly 160 000 learners’ lives have been touched through the origination of and participation in Career Days across the country.
  • The airline has also, over the years, been involved with several other community projects and also celebrates its eighth year as a UNICEF partner in aid of development of South African youth and its fifth year of support of the Joburg Ballet development initiative across several underprivileged areas in Gauteng.
  • Recognition of Mango’s pursuit of constant and never ending improvement has come by way of an impressive awards tally. Mango has won ACSA Feather Awards for Customer Service Excellence more than once in every airport it operates with well over 20 PRISM Awards for its communication and public relations and in-flight magazine Mango Juice’s list of merits continues to grow. 
  • Mango was also awarded African Low Cost Airline of the Year twice by the World Travel Awards and two successive Skytrax Awards as Best African Low Cost Airline served to further inspire the airline to achieve.
  • Mango has led low-cost airline brands in the majority of years over the past ten in the Sunday Times Top Brands and Sunday Times Generation Next awards.
  • Mango’s continuous focus on customer service has seen the number of complaints per 1000 travellers reduced to less than one per thousand flown, well exceeding its own targets.

“I am extremely proud to be part of Team Mango,” says Acting Chief Executive Nic Vlok. “Mango has over achieved against its original mandate, and since our launch in 2006 we have carried an estimated 2 million first time flyers, roughly equating to just under 10% of our overall volume,” he adds that accessibility and affordability remain cornerstones of the airline. “Through innovation, maintaining a lower cost base and making it as easy for Guests to do business with us as possible has stood the airline in great stead.” 
“Mango continues to hold the widest distribution strategy in the market and our recent full content agreement with Travelport is the beginning of moving much closer to the travel trade, “adds Vlok. Mango was launched as part of a dual brand strategy by the SAA Group in response to changing market conditions and the global proliferation of low-cost air travel. “The dual brand strategy within the SAA Group has delivered a combined market share of near 50% with Mango holding a 23% share on routes that it operates with 20.2% domestic market share overall. By monthly volume, Mango has become the largest domestic airline over several key periods.” 
Value underpins the entire airline. “From distribution through to pricing, network and product the outward focus of Mango has always been about delivering value to South African travellers. As a State Owned business, we have also made major contributions not only to national coffers but also made great strides in adding value to various national initiatives.” Mango has the most transformed pilot and cabin crew body amongst its low cost peers and its entire employee body comprises a majority of female staff with near 70% of its entire staff complement transformed.

With economic conditions expected to remain flat during the next 18 months and market competition to remain fierce, Mango is consolidating. “We do not expect to announce additional network points or increase our fleet at this time,” says Vlok. “Mango’s focus in the short term will be to maintain and grow market share on the routes that we already operate and to drive cost control and operational efficiencies while ensuring continued commercial success. The market is not conducive to expansion and business prudence in volatile conditions is paramount.” 

Vlok says that Mango’s highly cash positive position and proactive commercial agility has and will stand the airline in good stead during challenging times. “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. The consequences of buying market share artificially with unsustainable fares has seen several airline casualties along the way. The South African consumer deserves airlines that offer value and affordability and, importantly, longevity.”
“Commercial sustainability through delivering value to consumers and adding value to social and national development goals have been our driving force, answering our founding mandate in as many avenues as possible,” says Vlok, “and Mango has over achieved against every metric. Despite the very challenging environment, Mango remains very positive and future-focused.”


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