Stricken Mango Airlines (JE, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) has been allocated a life-line of ZAR819 million rand (USD57 million) from state coffers after having been temporarily grounded last week for failing to pay overdue airport charges.

The amount forms part of ZAR2.7 billion (USD187.3 million) allocated to Mango, SAA Technical (SAAT), and Air Chefs, the three subsidiaries of South African Airways (SA, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo), which last week emerged from a 17-month business rescue process. SAAT will receive ZAR1.6 billion (USD111 million) and Air Chefs ZAR218 million (USD15.1 million), Money Web reports.

The funds for the subsidiaries have been diverted in terms of a Special Appropriation Bill from a budget of ZAR10.5 billion (USD728.5 million) for the rescue of SAA, which to date has received ZAR7.8 billion (USD541.1 million) to implement its restructuring plan. No provision was made in SAA's business rescue plan for the recapitalisation of the subsidiaries as they were not in bankruptcy protection.

The specific figure for Mango was revealed for the first time in Parliament on March 5, 2021, during the tabling of the Special Appropriation Bill, according to local media reports.

Briefing Parliament's Standing Committee on Appropriations, National Treasury’s Chief Director of State-owned Enterprises, Ravesh Rajlal, said if Mango needed more money this would be at the expense of the other two subsidiaries, as the total of ZAR2.7 billion would not be increased, reported Business Day.

Parliament for months has delayed passing the Special Appropriation Bill which is now under consideration by the appropriations committee. Mango has been informed it will only get the money in June.

The airline's Board and the interim Board of SAA have proposed that Mango be placed in business rescue from May until July or until the money comes through. This followed after the state-owned Airports Company SA last week banned the airline from using its airports over unpaid landing and parking fees. A part-payment was made, allowing Mango to resume limited domestic operations, but not to Zanzibar.