Low cost carrier Mango has announced that it will start operating from the private Lanseria International Airport from June 1, becoming the second major airline to do so after Kulula.
Mango made the announcement yesterday, saying bookings will open today for its inaugural route to and from Cape Town. The airline will make 15 000 flights available for R 495 one way on sale between May 3 and May 31 for travel between June, July and August. The initial schedule to Cape Town will involve three flights a day on week days in each direction.
“Lanseria is the second route launch for Mango in the past year,” said CEO Nico Bezuidenhout. It launched a Johannesburg Bloemfontein route last year. “Growth is a priority on our agenda following a successful post-launch period,” he said.
“Demand has significantly increased across all routes and the introduction of a second presence in Gauteng will further strengthen Mango’s value proposition. We continue to offer the widest distribution and payment method network to our guests, and operations from Lanseria will further cement Mango’s commitment to its mandate of making air travel more accessible and affordable to South Africans,” Bezuidenhout said.
Mango’s announcement comes a year after low cost carrier 1Time reported Kulula to the Competition Commission for having exclusive rights to Lanseria, which has lower taxes and tarrifs than public airports managed by the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA). Kulula gained the exclusive rights after investing in Lanseria’s infrastructure. Ultimately, the competition commission ruled the agreement was anti-competitive, but Kulula had the right to recoup its money invested in Lanseria, IOL reports. Joint CEO Gidon Novick said his company only had exclusivity rights for a year and these rights expired in 2007.
Novick questioned whether Lanseria would be able to handle the extra flights from Mango, but Lanseria manager Gavin Sayce has long said there are plans to upgrade the runway, parking facilities, terminal and other buildings at the airport.
Other carriers are also eyeing Lanseria. Rodney James, CEO of 1Time, said the airline will look to offer flights from Lanseria once facilities are upgraded later this year.
Meanwhile, Mango’s fifth new generation Boeing 737-800, owned by General Electric Capital Aviation Services, entered service last week. Mango’s fleet now comprises five aircraft.