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News about Mango Air

Mango Warns of Scam - Sapa - 2009-09-23

Johannesburg - An e-mail scam offering vastly discounted flights is currently in circulation, airline Mango said on Wednesday.

"The e-mails offer incredible deals to international and local destinations across all airlines," Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said.

"But it is all hot air... these fares seem too good to be true, and they are," he added.

Bezuidenhout said that over the past week Mango - and other carriers - had seen a renewed flood of invalid bookings sold to unsuspecting consumers.

In just two days Mango declined eight travellers who had made bookings and paid through the e-mail scam, he said.

"This is just on our airline, I shudder to think what these fraudsters have achieved across all airlines, domestically and internationally," he said.

Earlier this year Mango issued a consumer advisory, warning South Africans about the scam, "after which public awareness dampened the activities", the airline said.

However, it seemed that the fraudsters were trying their luck again, Mango added.

Mango along with other industry players would continue to cooperate with authorities.

"Prevention is always the first defence against crime and I would like to urge consumers to ensure that they only engage with airlines through official websites, call centres and travel agents or, of course, to purchase in person at any Shoprite, Checkers or Checkers Hyper Money Market Counter in our instance," Bezuidenhout said.

- Sapa
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Mango Standing it's Ground
Fin24 01 Oct 2009

Johannesburg - Although low cost public airline Mango said it had delivered on its promise of making a profit, it has stood firm and refused to release the audited financial statements.

"I am not releasing our financial statements as that is sensitive information," Mango chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout told Fin24.com on Wednesday evening.

"We've always said we would report on the results and tell the taxpayer how we have performed. We have never promised to publish the audited financial report."

In an unverifiable statement that contained neither the actual audited financial statements, nor any other numbers, Mango said on Tuesday it had achieved revenue growth of 31% (on an unspecified amount). This saw it clinch a R10.9m net profit and 4% growth in market share.

Bezuidenhout only insisted to Fin24.com that the statements on which the information was gleaned had been audited, and signed off by an auditing company.

Mango's stance on not releasing the audited results was a complete turnaround to its promises soon after its launch that it would invite Fin24.com to view the audited results.

Bezuidenhout repeated the promise on no less than four occasions to Finweek and Fin24.com during both 2006 and 2007.

Mango spokesperson Hein Kaiser also told Fin24.com on Tuesday that releasing the actual numbers was dependent on shareholder South African Airways (SAA), which itself revealed a R398m net profit a day earlier.

When Fin24.com asked SAA chief executive Chris Smyth of Mango's results he said that was "confidential company information". Smyth distanced himself from releasing the audited statements. "We never made that promise," said Smyth. "You'll have to ask Bezuidenhout about it."

Smyth said in the same manner as British Airways does not release its segmental results, SAA wouldn't release its own.

All Smyth was prepared to say was that Mango's value had improved by at least R10m/year over the past two years. He didn't disclose the company's current value.

Asked at what rates SAA leased its aircraft to Mango, Smyth only said at "market" rates. Another question was whether it was indeed correct that SAA continues to pay Mango's fuel bill, which Smyth denied. Mango said on Tuesday it did not hedge its fuel bill.

However, Mango said it focused on maintaining the lowest cost base asset utilisation and customer service. Citing everything else, without any information that would be contained in audited financial statements, Mango patted itself on the back about most awards on the market and 86% on-time performance.

Mango was controversially launched through a "R100m shareholder loan" into the fiercely competitive domestic airline market during 2006, amid much criticism at a time when SAA was itself unable to reach profitability.

Then SAA chief executive Khaya Ngqula said the company would operate at "arm's length from SAA" and would not get any other financial assistance.

Some of Mango's competitors challenged it to make a net profit. Kulula.com even promised to host a party in Mango's honour should it produce an audited positive bottom line.

- Fin24.com