Both Mango Airlines and SAA said on Sunday that they would continue operating this week, despite the suspension of aircraft maintenance by South African Airways Technical (SAAT).

This weekend, reports suggested that Mango’s flights would be grounded on Saturday evening as a result of SAAT suspending services due to non-payment. Mango has been unable to generate sufficient revenue to pay creditors and reportedly owes Lanseria International Airport over R18m (€906 759).

A spokesperson for the airline told Tourism Update on Sunday that critical discussions between Mango and SAAT were continuing and the airline was “hopeful” of a resolution.

“Mango continues to operate as per schedule during these challenging times,” the spokesperson said, adding that customers were urged to check Mango’s website for any changes to their flight status.

Tourism Update understands that Mango has wet-leased aircraft in order to continue operations in the absence of SAAT’s technical support. The airline would neither confirm nor deny this.

SAA is not currently operating commercial flights, although the airline has charter flights scheduled for this week. Over the weekend SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali referred to the situation with SAAT as “undesirable”.

He told Tourism Update on Sunday that every effort would be made to avert operational disruptions resulting from the suspension of aircraft maintenance by SAAT. “We have a few charter flights planned for this week and we remain optimistic that they will operate,” he said.