JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s FlySafair said on Thursday it was interested in buying fellow low cost airline Mango from the government after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in his budget speech that the state should not hold stakes in four carriers.
FlySafair also said it is not interested in being an equity partner in South African Airways, Mango’s parent state-owned company.
“We would, however, buy Mango; although obviously it would need to be at the right price,” the company’s chief executive Elmar Conradie said in a statement.
Conradie further explained in the statement that Mango’s fleet and operating model was closer to FlySafair’s low-cost approach, and would be a more natural extension to FlySafair’s successful business model. He added that operating a larger fleet would afford FlySafair the opportunity to enjoy even larger economies of scale – and through this, potentially offer even lower fares to the flying public. He also noted that government could then channel these funds to bolster the positive 2016 budget presented.
FlySafair currently operates a fleet of seven aircraft, with the biggest national route network of the low cost carriers. It is part of Safair Operations, Africa’s leading operator of specialised aviation services. Safair celebrated 50 years of business in August last year.