Mango airline’s CEO resigns

Mango airline’s CEO Nico Bezuidenhout is leaving the South African Airways subsidiary to join London-listed airline Fastjet. Both airlines focus on low-cost target markets and Fastjet wants to expand its Africa business.

He will take up his new position and join the board as executive director on 1 August 2016‚ Fastjet said in a statement on Thursday.

Bezuidenhout‚ 40‚ is the last man standing of the original executive at SAA since the beginning of Dudu Myeni’s divisive reign as chairperson of the loss-making airline‚ the Financial Mail reported last week.

Once Bezuidenhout goes‚ SAA will be without a permanent CEO‚ chief financial officer‚ chief commercial officer‚ chief strategy officer‚ head of human resources and CEO of Mango.

Bezuidenhout has been CEO of Mango since it began operations a decade ago.

Fastjet praised him saying that: “During his tenure‚ Nico grew the airline’s market share to 25% of the South African domestic air travel market and the fleet to ten Boeing 737-800 aircraft. He also achieved the lowest unit cost within the South African aviation industry through high aircraft utilisation and sustained good load factors. In addition to playing a pivotal role in the success of Mango‚ which has been profitable in eight of the past ten years‚ Nico has also twice acted in the capacity of interim CEO of its parent company”.

Commenting on Bezuidenhout’s new appointment‚ Fastjet chairman Colin Child said in a statement: “He brings strong commercial and strategic skills and a wealth of experience of operating a low-cost carrier. This experience‚ together with his detailed knowledge of the markets in which Fastjet operates‚ will be invaluable to the company as it seeks to capture the growth opportunities in the region“.

Bezuidenhout said he was up for the task.

“Although market conditions are currently challenging‚ I am confident that we can build on the airline’s existing operational base to strengthen and develop the business and deliver on its considerable potential.”

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