FastJet names Mango's Nico Bezuidenhout as new CE0

SAA acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout.
SAA acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout.

Johannesburg - The Board of fastjet announced the appointment of Nico Bezuidenhout, CEO of South African Airways' low-cost subsidiary Mango, as its new executive director as from August 1 2016.

Bezuidenhout has been CEO since Mango commenced operations ten years ago. During his tenure, he grew the airline's market share to 25% of the South African domestic air travel market and the fleet to ten Boeing 737-800 aircraft. He also achieved the lowest unit cost within the SA aviation industry through high aircraft utilisation and sustained good load factors.
In addition to playing a pivotal role in the success of Mango, which has been profitable in eight of the past ten years, Bezuidenhout has twice acted in the capacity of interim CEO of its parent company SAA.

"Nico brings strong commercial and strategic skills and a wealth of experience of operating a low-cost carrier. This experience, together with his detailed knowledge of the markets in which fastjet operates, will be invaluable to the Company as it seeks to capture the growth opportunities in the region," said fastjet chair Colin Child.

Bezuidenhout said he is very pleased to be joining fastjet at this stage in its development.

"Although market conditions are currently challenging, I am confident that we can build on the airline's existing operational base to strengthen and develop the business and deliver on its considerable potential," added Bezuidenhout.

At the same time, he said Mango has given him "10 years of awesome".

"There is no other way to describe the incredible business that it has become - not only commercially, but culturally. During my tenure at Mango every employee has become a member of an extended family. That is what Mango is and always will be about: The sum of an incredible collective that makes a successful whole,” said Bezuidenhout.

“While I will take my leave from the airline to pursue further career opportunities, my passion and absolute belief in Mango’s past, current and ongoing success remains firm. Mango has enjoyed unparalleled success across all areas of the business, setting the pace in many instances in domestic aviation, for what is likely one of the most challenging industries.”

Mango Airlines said in a statement that it is with immense gratitude and a measure of sadness that it bids Bezuidenhout farewell.

"But Mango’s achievements and exemplary success under his leadership is a legacy that the Mango family will celebrate for decades to come," the airline said.

READ: fastjet launches Jozi, Vic Falls flights

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