Cape Town - You will soon be able to book your next flight to Durbs or Jozi on your tablet or smartphone.
From September 20, low-cost airline Mango will be the first African airline to offer a near complete portfolio of products and services through its mobi-site and tablet applications.
The functionality, says the airline, will make it possible for South Africans to book and pay for flights, choose seating and purchase ancillary products on the go.
Linked to its existing Flymango.com URL, the mobi-site automatically detects and adjusts to different mobile devices. A tablet aplication will be available for download at no cost from various app stores by the end of October, with flight change functionality available shortly.
Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout believes that going mobile will not only make doing business with the airline easier, but also provide access to bookings where traditional e-commerce has no reach.
“Mobile connectivity in South Africa accounts for a significant portion of internet users who solely connect using their cellphones. This represents a vast, untapped online market well within our potential customer base," says Bezuidenhout.
According to a study, in 2010 South Africa had about 7.9 million internet users who accessed the internet through their cellphones, just over 6 million did so through traditional PCs and laptops and 2.48 million users relied solely on their cellphones for web access.
South Africa had 8.5 million smartphone users by the end of 2011.
"We will effectively reach nearly 2.5 million potentially new customers who do not access the internet in any other way," says Bezuidenhout.
Mango now holds the widest distribution network in South Africa. It was the first to retail flights through retailer Shoprite Checkers and remains the only airline globally to accept store cards.
Mobility follows several new developments at Mango; these include the roll-out of the G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi service now available on 90% of its fleet with the final aircraft presently in installation phase, and its home check in and boarding pass printing service.
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