Court to hear bid to place Mango airlines under business rescue

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Trade unions representing workers at Mango Airlines are heading to court to demand that the low-cost airline be placed under business rescue.

Their urgent application will be heard in the High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The unions want clarity on the airline’s future.

President of the South African Crew Association Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi says the Public Enterprises Department has no intention of keeping the cash-strapped airline afloat.

“We believe from a letter that you would have seen in Mango’s affidavit that the DPE had no intention of rescuing Mango and instead they wanted to wind it down. So this we found out after we had wrote the business rescue application, which just confirms our fears that Mango was not going to be rescued, so we believe this is a good move on our part,” says Sibanyoni-Mugambi.

Meanwhile, members of the Mango Pilots’ Association are optimistic that the court will rule in favour of the airline’s workers.

Much of the South African aviation industry’s current volatility has to do with the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Mango Airlines, a popular low-cost carrier, is the latest airline to have its flights suspended.

As a result, hundreds of passengers have been left stranded at airports and had to make alternative arrangements.

Comair also recently suspended its Kulula and British Airways flights due to the lockdown restrictions and is set to resume operations next month.

The association’s Captain Jordan Butler says, “There is R819-million from the Appropriation Bill that’s there ready to go and restructure Mango with business rescue, but it seems only now that we have put pressure on with our court application which Mango is now opposing that the government has gotten on board. So without our pressure, who knows how much longer it would have taken. So we are fully confident that our application will be successful.”

In the related video below, unions head to court to place Mango airlines under business rescue: