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Mango gives market something technical to chew on

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Low cost airline Mango becomes the first African airline to offer a near complete portfolio of products and services through its mobi-site and tablet applications. The functionality, available from 20 September, will make it possible for South Africans to book and pay for flights, choose seating and purchase ancillary products on the go.


Mango becomes first African airline to launch mobi-booking channel. (Image: Mango Airlines)
Linked to its existing URL, the mobi-site automatically detects and adjusts to different mobile devices. A tablet application will be available for download at no cost from various app-stores by the end of October with flight change functionality available shortly.

“Innovation is one of the cornerstones of our business,” says CEO Nico Bezuidenhout, who believes that going mobile will not only make doing business with the airline easier, but provide access to bookings where traditional e-commerce has no reach. “Mobile connectivity in South Africa accounts for a significant portion of internet users who solely connect using their cell-phones. This represents a vast, untapped online market well within our potential customer base,” says Bezuidenhout.

According to published highlights of the 2012 Internet Access SA study, South African internet connectivity has grown by 25% in 2011 to 8.5 million by the end of 2011. In 2010, growth was pegged at 28%. Of these connections, approximately 7.9 million internet users access it through their cell phones, just over 6 million through traditional PCs and laptops and 2.48 million users who solely use their cell phones to access the internet. By the end of 2011 there were 8.5 million smartphone users in South Africa.

“We will effectively reach nearly 2.5 million potentially new customers who do not access the internet in any other way,” says Bezuidenhout. “Marry this with our wide payment method acceptance, particularly Edgars and Jet store charge cards that are highly relevant to this market, and you have a winning recipe.”

Mango was the first to retail flights through retailer Shoprite Checkers and remains the only airline globally to accept store cards.

Mobility follows several new developments at Mango; these include the roll out of the G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi service now available on 90% of its fleet with the final aircraft presently in installation phase and its home check in and boarding pass printing service.

Staff Writer

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