In echoes of Nationwide airlines' strategy, Mango airlines have decided to start a business class section on their flights (Sep 2007). Contrary to media reports, Mango airlines is not the first airline to follow this business model. Nationwide airlines has for some time now being offering a no-frills package in its economy class (no meals), whilst also offering a business class option.
Dubbed Top Class seats, Mango airlines is aiming its business class option at the business market. The seats initially cost an additional R549 to R769 for which you get flexibility in your flight schedule (i.e. do you want to depart late now or depart late later), access to the business class lounge (SAA?), R40 meal voucher on board (not free, remember you paid at least R549 but you don't have to pay again on board) and a 30kg baggage limit (which is 10kg more than the usual limit, but we don't suspect this will be a big selling point for business class travellers - they usually travel light). There isn't a business class "cabin" on board Mango flights, but you get offered the option of sitting in row 15 or 16 which has more leg-room.
This move by Mango airlines will place it in direct competition not only with British Airways flight and Nationwide, but also with its parent company - South African Airways. But this move would not have taken place without South African Airways' (and their consultants, Seabury) blessing. This may be a first step in an SAA strategy for Mango airlines to become the dominant carrier on South African domestic routes (taking over SAA's slots), with SAA being freed to focus on international flights.
While the low-cost carrier model is a proven business model, mixing of low-cost with business class is not. We watch this space with interest.
These business class options were later named Mango Plus and Mango Flexi.
Category : Mango Airlines