Low-cost airline Mango is shortly expected to confirm a direct service to Zanzibar out of South Africa, after the carrier said it was seriously evaluating new prospects in east Africa last week. The airline operated a limited charter service to the island in December.
Without revealing any details, Chief Executive Officer Nico Bezuidenhout said several routes were being considered "with particular emphasis on the east African seaboard" and indicated a "planned roll-out of 18 months".
Operators have welcomed the prospect after 1time’s collapse resulted in the loss of the only low-cost services available on two routes into the region’s leisure hotspots of Mombasa and Zanzibar.
With Mango’s three charter flights into Zanzibar, operated to honour bookings held by at least three wholesaler’s 1time-affected customers, Holiday Factory Senior Manager, Contracting, Marketing & Operations, Flora Fubbs, maintained "direct air service is always first prize and performs better than those that go via via".
Ms. Fubbs said additional charters might be considered for future peak travel periods if no regular low-cost service becomes available in time.
"Mombasa had not really taken off by the time 1time withdrew it and there was not demand as there has been for Zanzibar… There certainly still is demand even without direct air access but, yes, we would be very excited if Mango confirms."