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Are South Africans using in-flight Wi-Fi?

Are South Africans using in-flight Wi-Fi?

Mango, the low-cost South African Airways subsidiary, says that its in-flight Wi-Fi service “has been well received and take-up levels continue to be high”.

Claiming to be the only African airline to offer on-board Wi-Fi, Mango launched its in-flight service in the first half of 2012, through G-Connect.

Mango said that the service is presently available on 6 of its fleet of 10 aircraft with plans afoot to install across the fleet, ultimately.

“The service has been well received and take-up levels continue to be high. On aggregate we have 7-8% usage, well in line with global averages on similar products,” the airline said.

“There are several innovations planned for this year, soon to be announced,” it said.

To use Mango’s in-flight Wi-Fi passengers can buy a voucher either through the Mango site or directly from WirelessG which costs from R50 for a single flight (valid for 3 hours from activation), to R250 for a “Super Travellers Pass” which is valid for a month and offers 300 minutes of G-Connect Wi-Fi access whether in the air or on the ground.

Alternatively, passengers can purchase SMS bundles starting at R10 for 5 SMSes, to R30 for 20 SMSes.

Mango offers a 30MB in-flight and Wi-Fi bundle for R29, and a 60MB amount for R49.

Rival carrier,, recently told BusinessTech that it will not pursue an in-flight Wi-Fi offering for its flights due to the associated costs to deliver the service.

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BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
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  • Don

    Still cheaper than a Vodacom OOB rate 😉

  • Edward Milsom

    Last time I tried towards the end of 2014 on a Mango flight from DBN to CPT it was completely and utterly useless. It was incredibly slow, and dropping packets like crazy. All I tried to do was attach an 800kb PDF file from my laptop into a Gmail mail and send it… I didn’t succeed for the entire duration of the flight. I complained and got a refund.

  • Simon

    I happened to chat to the person responsible for doing the feasibility study for Satellite internet for….he was pretty clear that it was too expensive to implement properly and too unreliable at this time, especially for short domestic flights. I’m sure the situation will gradually improve, but I doubt Kulula can just jump into these things without….well, let’s just say ‘a little government protection’, a la Mango. Frankly I’m amazed that they can really offer it so cheaply! I’ve never tried to use it personally though.

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