A court application by three South African labour unions to have Mango Airlines (JE, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) placed in bankruptcy protection has been postponed to Friday, August 6, to allow enough time for the parties to present their arguments.

This follows a virtual hearing of the Johannesburg division of the South African High Court on Tuesday, August 3, during which Advocate Arnold Subel SC, appearing for Mango Airlines, opposed the postponement. He argued that in terms of Section 129.3 of the South African Companies Act, Mango must publish its board’s resolution to place the company in business rescue within five days of making the decision, which had been on July 28, 2021. The resolution must also be lodged with South Africa's Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) within that period to take effect. An administrator must also be appointed within five days of taking the resolution.

However, after consultation, the CIPC, represented by its senior legal counsel Lucinda Steenkamp, advised the court the commission would abide by the judge’s order to postpone the hearing.

Meanwhile, the two liquidating creditors of Mango, Aergen Aircraft Four Limited and Aergen Aircraft Five Limited, have joined the case. This follows a standing liquidation application filed on April 19, 2021, by the two Aergen companies.

All legal representatives are to file their heads of argument by Wednesday evening (August 4).

As reported, the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA), the Mango Pilots Association (MPA), and the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (NUMSA) have filed to place Mango in business rescue (a local form of bankruptcy protection) after employees have not been paid for at least two months and ZAR819 million rands (USD57.3 million) of promised state aid has not yet flowed into the airline.

Mango by April 2021 was ZAR2.5 billion (USD168.4 million) in debt.