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kulula.com today offered congratulations to South African Airways (SAA) on the launch of their new brand, Mango and at the same time requested that the airline limit its exposure to taxpayer funding.
Gidon Novick, joint CEO of kulula.com said, "Despite all the fun and games of the last few weeks, we know from experience that it is quite a challenge to launch an airline on such short notice. There's a lot more to it than just repainting the planes and SAA should congratulate their new team for what they have accomplished."
kulula.com has today sent a letter to SAA's CEO Khaya Ngqula, congratulating him on the launch of the new product, but also asking for his public commitment that no further taxpayer funding will be spent in the future on this speculative venture by the parastatal.
"We have asked SAA for their commitment to limit their exposure to the initial R100m that has been sunk into the project to prevent further damage to free enterprise at taxpayers' expense," said Novick. He added, "We look forward to SAA confirming to us and all South Africans that not a single rand further will be taken from public coffers to support Mango."
Meanwhile, the launch of the SAA offshoot has also proved to be fortuitous for kulula.com whose sales have skyrocketed in recent weeks. kulula.com has reported a 55% increase in sales revenue compared to the same period last year which shows that the public appreciates kulula.com's low fare leadership and friendly service more than ever.
kulula.com projects their planes will be running 87% full today which is very strong for midweek. But initial reports from staff members at OR Tambo International airport suggest that some of Mango's first flights were running less than half full. These types of numbers have raised further concerns at kulula.com that it is likely that the new airline may have to come back sooner than expected for a financial top up.