Mango mulls additional flights to Zanzibar

South African low-cost airline Mango said it was considering adding more direct flights between Johannesburg and Zanzibar during peak periods as the route continues to grow in popularity and become a value destination for South Africans. Since commencing flights in 2013 with a single weekly flight, Mango has doubled its weekly capacity into Zanzibar with peak holiday periods seeing traveller and flight volumes quadruple at times.

Just last year, the airline said it carried over 26 000 passengers to and from the island.

Mango chief executive, Nico Bezuidenhout, in a statement said Zanzibar's appeal as a holiday destination for South Africans continued to grow.

“This has made Zanzibar very accessible to South African tourists across many levels of affordability. We are already considering additional frequencies for the year-end period as sustained growth continues,” Bezuidenhout said.

Johannesburg-Zanzibar was Mango's first foray into Africa. Beyond South African outbound leisure travel to Zanzibar, Mango said it was also looking to other markets to further drive growth on the route.

“South Africa could serve as a gateway to the island from markets such as the Americas and Australasia, largely untapped, while we are also actively investigating broader distribution channels and consumer engagement opportunities in Zanzibar and Tanzania as a source market for inbound travel into South Africa,” Bezuidenhout said.

Bezuidenhout also said that the leisure market would continue to be a focus for route development beyond domestic borders, “with the demand-side potential and the economy being determining factors in [Mango's] ongoing business development strategy.”