Mango Airlines staff call for company bailout to save cash-strapped airline
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Mango Airlines employees said they had no choice but to go to court to put the low-cost branch of state-owned SA Airways (SAA) on bail.
It comes after growing fears that the airline will not survive due to financial difficulties; employees had also not received their June wages. It was not clear whether they would receive their July wages. The Star understands that the cash-strapped SAA subsidiary was waiting for a cash injection.
The South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) said employees were working for free and facing financial problems. Union spokesman Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi said there were other concerns within the airline, such as a ban on long-term bookings and lack of communication from management on the future of the company. The Star understands that the airliner employs more than 700 people.
“Basically we have now decided that we should put Mango into a corporate bailout. We don’t want to do it, but it’s about the survival of the airline; no one is talking about the solution for Mango, ”Nsibanyoni-Mugambi said.
She said the corporate bailout would likely lead to a restructuring of the company. There were high hopes that such a move could save jobs. The union said it was also unsure how the sale of SAA would impact the low-cost airline.
“We are not getting any response from the Ministry of Public Enterprises. The way things are going, we have no choice; we are between a rock and a hard place. Mango is not overstaffed, he just needs to be restructured. We think it could be a positive thing, ”added Nsibanyoni-Mugambi.
Mango Pilots Association president Jordan Butler said pilots also owed about six months of their wages. He said that the lack of payment of wages and the secrecy of the SOEs weighed heavily on the pilots.
“People had to move in with their parents, some cannot pay for their medical care, some have lost their cars. It really doesn’t suit a lot of our members, ”said Butler.
He added that the pilots really wanted to make sure the airline survived because there was less chance that the pilots employed by Mango could find other jobs in the current economic climate.
“The only option would be for us to go overseas, but even there the situation is not good, so we’re going to have to fight for our jobs,” Butler said.
Mango Airlines declined to comment on the matter. State Enterprise Department spokesperson Richard Mantu was not available for comment.