July 02, 2019: Effective October 1, 2019, Nico Bezuidenhout will take charge as the chief executive office (CEO) of Mango Airlines, the low-cost carrier of South African Airways (SAA). The latest appointment of a permanent CEO is a further step in stabilising leadership and strengthening the executive capacity of the group.

The 42-year-old South African previously held the post for nearly a decade until 2016, when he joined Fastjet following tensions between the then CEO Stelios Haji-Ioannou. At Mango, the CEO's position was never filled after he left it in 2016, mainly due to political issues at SAA.

"We are pleased to welcome Nico Bezuidenhout back into the SAA Group. His appointment will advance the implementation of the turnaround strategy of SAA Group," said SAA Board chairman JB Magwaza.

At Fastjet, which operates in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Bezuidenhout worked to revive its fortunes and shore up its dwindling cash pile. The company's striking deal to raise funds last year, saved it from financial crisis.

Since 2011, SAA has not made profit and announced last month that it needed R4 billion ($282 million) from the government to survive the current financial year. At the same time, SAA has to appoint Zukisa Ramasia as interim CEO after Vuyani Jarana unexpectedly resigned, saying his turnaround plan was being undermined by a lack of state funding and too much bureaucracy.

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