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Mango offers free tweets from the sky
August 1, 2012
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Mango Airlines

South African low cost carrier, Mango airlines and G-Connect are offering free tweets from the sky in August on Mango’s Johannesburg – Cape Town flights.   The initiative celebrates the end of Mango’s beta testing of its in-flight wifi service. According to Mango, Facebook and Twitter will be available at no cost (except for video uploads). Additionally all internet services will be 50% for the month of August.

Mango first in SA to offer in-flight Wi-Fi

Mango was the first South African airline to offer in-flight Wi-Fi when they launched their G-Connect wireless internet service on board selected flights in May. Five out of six of Mango’s planes, are Wi-Fi enabled with the sixth scheduled to come online at the end of September.

Mango’s in-flight Wi-Fi packages are normally priced at R50 for 3 hours of data, but during August it only costs R25 for internet access during your flight. According to Mango, their in-flight Wi-Fi usage is currently at 8% but they are aiming for 30% usage by November. Discounting rates as well as opening up social media at no cost is expected to drive increased adoption of the wi-fi service.

Great initiative by Mango but…

This is an awesome initiative by Mango. Offering free Twitter and Facebook access should encourage flyers to post about their experience and increase their impressions on these sites. As using Wifi on board will be a new experience for many, I imagine that there will be a fair bit of buzz created.  If it works well flyers may well be tempted to shell out the mere R25 for full internet access.

The big question is how well will Mango use this social media exposure?  Many international airlines have been very successful with social media, most especially with Twitter (KLM provides a great case study). However, it seems like South African airlines have lagged behind in the social space.

At the time of writing, Mango had 13,465 Facebook likes and 7,256  Twitter followers, while G-connect had 1,234 likes and 744 Twitter followers. Though I haven’t noticed either Mango or G-connect propose any hashtag for the promotion, it will be interesting to see if they can increase their social media metrics significantly during the promotion period.

I will be flying Mango to Cape Town this weekend for the Getaway Travel Blog Conference and will definitely utilise the service to post a tweet or two.  For the price of a sandwhich I may even be tempted to go with the full Wi-fi service.

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Meruschka Govender

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