SA’s Mango airplanes first to install Wi-Fi for passengers

South African low-cost airline Mango now has its entire fleet of aeroplanes installed with in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity for Internet access. The last aircraft was fitted with the Wi-Fi service last week and took to the sky today.

Using G-Connect’s in-flight Wi-Fi access, the solution implemented by Mango enables passengers and aircraft crew to connect to the Internet during flights.

Mango and G-Connect celebrated the completion of the fleet rollout by offering on-board connectivity at less than half US$1 for a day and a week’s access passes during October 2012, on all flights.

Over the past six years, Mango has embraced technology and innovation to deliver direct business advantage says the company’s chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout.

“Since our launch, we have set ourselves a target of a ground-breaking innovation every year; from being the first airline on social media through to innovative payment methods such as accepting store charge cards (Edcon) and retailing flights through Shoprite and Checkers.

“Our mobi-site and G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi – Mango is forging ahead at pace and it has delivered substantially to the growth of the business,” Bezuidenhout. said

Bezuidenhout estimates that 30 percent of passengers elect to fly Mango as a direct result of its various innovations.

Mango invests in assets that make it easier to do business with us, says Bezuidenhout.

G-Connect’s chief executive Carel van der Merwe said: “The service has seen a 98 percent up-time throughout with usage, we anticipate, growing to a 12 percent uptake following the completion of fleet rollout,

“Interestingly we have seen the majority of use focused on sending and receiving email, showing that the potential for upping productivity during a two hour flight has become an important business tool. We expect email traffic to increase by 60 percent over the next couple of months with social media posts likely growing in tandem with general usage increases.”

Van der Merwe added that they expect the same trend as in other parts of the world where 50 percent of business travellers take Wi-Fi enabled flights to be “reachable” during business hours.

“We are in a competitive age during which access to information and ease of communication enhance productivity. To this end effective connectivity is essential and Wi-Fi in the sky will soon become another standard amenity – travellers will change airlines just to have it,” van der Merwe said.

The airline is among the first on the African continent to offer inflight Wi-Fi facility to passengers and crew.

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