Category Archives: Airlink

Airlink introduces a new independent look

Airlink’s New Tailfeathers Bring Freedom to Southern Africa’s Skies

Airlink, the privately-owned Southern African airline, has revealed its new tail feathers, distinguishing itself as a completely independent carrier.

The new look, which features a distinctively colorful African Sunbird set against a sunrise and dawn sky, follows several recent developments, including the formal re-naming of the company as “Airlink”.  It signifies the airline’s new strategy, as an independent, agile, responsive and financially robust business that is free of any brand association with its former franchise partner, South African Airways.

The new livery will be applied to Airlink’s fleet over the coming months, with the re-painting coinciding with each aircraft’s next scheduled deep-maintenance overhaul. This will avoid disrupting the airline’s operations.   The first aircraft bearing the new colours will resume service in early December, in time for the summer holiday season.

Airlink recently launched frequent daily services on what have historically been South Africa’s (and Africa’s) busiest city pairings; Johannesburg – Cape Town and Johannesburg – Durban in addition to Johannesburg-Port Elzabeth and Johannesburg – East London.  It also inaugurated its first new routes linking Johannesburg with Maputo as well as Johannesburg with Windhoek.   With the phased relaxation of domestic and regional travel restrictions, Airlink has re-started services to all 15 of South Africa’s main economic and tourist centres.   In addition, it is operating to Zimbabwe (Harare and Bulawayo), Zambia (Lusaka, Ndola and soon also Livingstone), Namibia (Windhoek and Walvis Bay), Lesotho (Maseru), Eswatini (Sikhuphe) and Mozambique (Maputo, Pemba, Beira and Vilanculos).  Next week Airlink will resume flights to Botswana (Gaborone, followed next month by Maun and Kasane) and will restart flights to Madagascar in December (Nosy Be, while it awaits the re-opening of Antananarivo.    Flights to St Helena will re-commence as soon as it is permissible.  Airlink also plans to parade its new tailfeathers to several other established and new destinations as they come online over the coming weeks and months.

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SA Airline officially becomes Airlink

Airlink, the privately-owned airline, has officially changed its company name from “SA Airlink” to “Airlink”, as part of its strategy to distinguish itself as a totally independent airline.

Earlier this year Airlink ended its 23 year franchise agreement with South African Airways and began operating and issuing tickets on its own “4Z” code and designator. This has liberated Airlink and enabled it to forge commercial ties with other international airlines that carry passengers and cargo to and from destinations across Southern Africa. It has subsequently signed collaborative “interline” agreements with Qatar Airways, Emirates, British Airways, KLM, Air France and United.

Airlink is a privately-owned regional airline serving a comprehensive network of smaller destinations throughout Southern Africa. We are now operating independently under our own unique 4Z flight code offering more freedom, more choices and more travel opportunities. When you see the sunbird icon on our aircraft, think Airlink. You’ll know that you’re travelling with Southern Africa’s largest (measured by flight movements) independent airline. Airlink has more than 50 commercial jetliners operating throughout Southern Africa. Last year we carried 2 million customers on more than 63 000 flights, on 55 routes to 39 destinations in nine African countries and St Helena Island.

Airlink to acquire Safair, the brands will remain separate if approved

Airlink (South African Airlink) BAe RJ85 ZS-SSJ (msn E2385) JNB (TMK Photography). Image: 920116.

Airlink and Safair, two independent South African aviation groups, on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 will apply to South Africa’s Competition Commission for approval to unite under the common umbrella of the Airlink group of companies.

The proposal sees the Airlink and low-cost FlySafair (below) airlines and Safair’s other businesses, including humanitarian aid flights, continuing to operate separately under their unique brands.

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2013

Above Copyright Photo: FlySafair (Safair) Boeing 737-4Y0 ZS-JRD (msn 24917) JNB (Rob Finlayson). Image: 928163.

The airlines will retain their respective products, aircraft fleets, management and leadership teams. Employees will be secure with no job losses because of the consolidation.

“Airlink’s acquisition of Safair, which is financially robust and profitable, makes good business sense. It presents opportunities to reduce our combined costs, position ourselves for growth while at the same time increasing connectivity and choice while making air travel accessible and affordable for our customers across Southern Africa,” explained Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.

“Our combined networks will enable us to connect 37 destinations in nine Southern African & Indian Ocean countries and St. Helena. This will stimulate and enable trade, tourism, economic growth and social development in those markets we serve,” added Foster

“Coming under a single umbrella will create economies of scale that will enable both airlines to share costs, optimise assets and remove systems duplications.  This will position the new Airlink Group for future growth,” said Elmar Conradie, who will remain as Safair CEO.

In addition, the proposed new ownership structure will see Airlink continue to meet – and in future exceed – South Africa’s Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment targets.

The Safair purchase will not affect Airlink’s existing SAA franchise partnership, which continues to deliver traffic and business to SAA and Airlink while their customers benefit from the value, convenience and connectivity the arrangement provides.

As part of its continued commitment to the aviation industry within South Africa, Safair shareholder ASL Aviation Holdings will become a minority shareholder of the Airlink Group of companies.  ASL Aviation Holdings is a global aviation group with 6 European and 2 Asian airlines in addition to its South African interests.

More details will be provided when the Competition Commission has made its determination, which we anticipate will be during Q1 2018.

About Airlink

Airlink was established in 1992 and is the leading regional airline in Southern Africa. It has a route network of 37 destinations in nine African countries and St. Helena..

About Safair

Safair Operations was established in 1965 and has been a leader in the provision of specialised aviation services for the past 52 years. In 2014 the company launched FlySafair, a low-cost carrier competing in South Africa’s domestic market.

Top Copyright Photo: The remaining RJ85s should be replaced and retired by late 2019. Airlink (South African Airlink) BAe RJ85 ZS-SSJ (msn E2385) JNB (TMK Photography). Image: 920116.

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Bottom Copyright Photo: Safair Boeing 737-3Y0 (F) ZS-SMJ (msn 23500) SHJ (Michael Stappen). Image: 905778.

Safair Boeing 737-3Y0 (F) ZS-SMJ (msn 23500) SHJ (Michael Stappen). Image: 905778.

Airlink to replace its Avro RJ85s with new Embraer E170s and E190s

RJ85s to be replaced with new Embraer E170s and E190s by 2020

Airlink, Southern Africa’s largest independent regional airline, is joining the E-Jet operator’s family. The airline is acquiring five E-Jets – three E170s and two E190s, from ECC Leasing, a wholly-owned Embraer subsidiary. Airlink will start to receive the aircraft in the first half of 2017.

Airlink already operates a large fleet of ERJ aircraft – last December, the airline started to add 11 further ERJ 140 jets to its fleet. By the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, the airline will be operating 30 ERJs, comprising all three types – ERJ 135, ERJ 140 and the ERJ 145.

Rodger Foster, CEO of Airlink, said, “This is the beginning of the implementation of a well planned growth and modernization strategy for Airlink that includes replacing our current fleet of Avro RJ85s over the next three years. The strategy calls for a total of 13 E-Jets, and we are in the process of sourcing the balance of the fleet requirement – an additional 8 E190s – from the market.”

Copyright Photo: Airlink (South African Airlink) BAe RJ85 ZS-ASY (msn E2316) JNB (Michael Stappen). Image: 906856.

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Airlink receives permission to put its 13 Jetstream 41s back in the air

Airlink (Johannesburg) has received government permission to restore to flying status its fleet of 13 BAe Jetstream 41 turboprops.

News link:

www.iol.co.za/index.php?from=rss_South%20Africa&set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=vn20100122044321444C670482

Airlink’s fate to be announced today

Airlink (Johannesburg) will learn its fate today. The airline which has suffered through two recent accidents could be grounded by the South African government.

News link:

www.iol.co.za/index.php?from=rss_South%20Africa&set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=

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Airlink Embraer ERJ 135 overruns the runway at George

Airlink (Johannesburg) suffered through another accident yesterday (December 7) at George (South Africa). Embraer ERJ 135 ZS-SJW (msn 145423) overran the wet runway on landing and crashed through the security fence ending up on a road. The regional jet was operating flight SA 8625. There were only minor injuries.

News links with pictures:

www.news24.com/Content/Galleries/Image/Images/MyNews24/Plane%20crash-lands%20in%20George

www.mg.co.za/article/2009-12-08-another-airlink-accident-as-plane-overshoots-runway

Airlink loses Jetstream 41 ZS-NRM at Durban

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. Please click on photo for full view, information and other photos.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. Please click on photo for full view, information and other photos.

News link:

www.mg.co.za/article/2009-09-24-aircraft-crashlands-south-of-durban