Tag Archives: Safair

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.


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.

FlySafair to finally launch low-fare operations on October 16

FlySafair (Johannesburg) has finally been cleared to fly. Previously the subsidiary of Safair (Johannesburg) on October 8, 2013 had been prevented from flying by a court order of the High Court of South Africa.

The new airline will now launch scheduled passenger operations on October 16 between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Services between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth will start later on October 30

Here is a list of the full schedules: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4Y0 ZS-JRE (msn 26065) is tugged at the JNB base.

FlySafair banner

FlySafair: AG Slide Show

Safair: AG Slide Show

Video: A TV commercial for FlySafair:

Video: A short history of Safair:

FlySafair is cleared to commence passenger operations


Safair (Johannesburg) has issued this statement about its new low-fare FlySafair (Johannesburg) passenger subsidiary:

Microsoft Word – FlySafair announcement

Safair has announced the news that the Air Services Council (ASLC) has granted FlySafair a domestic air service licence for the operation of domestic scheduled flights. This is in addition to the international and domestic unscheduled licence that it held for almost 50 years, providing aviation services both domestically and internationally.

The airline was initially blocked from starting its operations after two competitors brought an urgent application to interdict the new low cost airline from starting its operations based on it not meeting the 75% domestic ownership requirements.

Since then FlySafair has restructured their shareholding, getting rid of the shareholding which caused the problems and at the same time concluding the largest employee share ownership scheme in the aviation industry, effectively giving its South African employees a 25.14% stake in the company.

Despite FlySafair not having been operational since October 2013, the airline retained the services of all the employees who were hired 10 months ago, by utilising them in Safair’s traditional business of providing backup services to local airlines and also in international charter operations.

FlySafair: AG Slide Show

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4Y0 ZS-JRD (msn 24917) taxies at the Johannesburg base.

FlySafair Cleared to Fly



Safair to get into the scheduled airline business as FlySafair starting on October 17 (now delayed)

FlySafair logo

Safair (Johannesburg) has been operating for other carriers and as a charter airline since March 18, 1970. Now the company is venturing into the tough scheduled airline business under the FlySafair banner. The low-fare airline will start flying 165-seat Boeing 737-400s on October 17 between Johannesburg and Cape Town (see below for an update).

Safair Fleet (Safair)(LR)

The airline issued this statement about FlySafair:

Although FlySafair is a brand new low-cost passenger airline or, as we prefer to say “a high value airline”, it already boasts a proud heritage.

Founded by Safair, probably South Africa’s best known air logistics and specialized air services company, FlySafair was born from a company that already has 48 years of experience. We like to think of ourselves as South Africa’s oldest newest airline.

During that time, we have reliably and successfully transported medical supplies and food relief into inaccessible territories for the United Nations, the World Food Program (WFP) and a host of other international aid agencies.

It’s all in a days work for us to transport aid to Angola, adventurers to Antarctica, parachutists to Phalaborwa, rhinos to remote bushveld runways and sharks to Singapore (the Hammerhead variety).

We’ve carried freight around the world, flown in teams of people wherever and whenever they were needed and supplied back-up passenger and freight airplanes to commercial airlines on a regular basis.

You could say we’re a company of adventurers. We prefer to think that we exist for the sheer love of flying.

Because we’ve been around for over four and a half decades, we’ve got a certain old-world quality you won’t find on other low cost airlines.

We think the kind of person who will fly with us at FlySafair is someone who appreciates quality, good old fashioned values and attention to detail.

But most of all, we believe the people who come with us are the kind of people who still love flying.

So please, if you’re looking for an efficient, professional, reliable, low cost high value airline offering exceptional rates and good service welcome aboard FlySafair.

We guarantee it will be a breath of fresh air for you.

The airline is also holding a “Your Name on a Plane” contest:

“Normally airlines name their planes after historical events, natural wonders, or famous people. We thought we’d name our planes after someone really important. You.”

Update: On October 8, the North Gauteng High Court issued a court interdict preventing the airline from launching operations between Johannesburg and Cape Town. The interdict was a result of a complaint by Comair (British Airways) which challenged the ability of Safair to operate scheduled service. The court also order Comair to honor the FlySafair tickets.

CEO Dave Andrew of FlySafair stated the new airline will shelve all plans until the issue is settled in court and issue refunds.

Here is the full statement:

Dear Passengers,

Thank you once again for your continued patience during this temporary
setback. Your messages of support have been greatly appreciated and we value
the time you have taken to communicate with us in such a positive manner.

As part of our commitment to communicating with you openly and honestly,
allow me to update you on what is happening at the moment.

As per the court interdict granted on Tuesday, FlySafair will be refunding all
tickets purchased. In fact, we have already completed and credited all credit card
transactions through our payment gateway. We are also in conversation with all
the major banks to ensure that these payments reflect timeously in our
passengers’ accounts.

We are steadily making our way through the EFT refunds for the remaining
passengers. Some of those payments are still outstanding as we’re waiting for
confirmation from a few passengers regarding their banking details. If you are
waiting for an EFT refund, please ensure that you have shared your details with
us either via our Central Reservations on 087 135 1351 or email

As per the court order, the process from here is that Comair must accommodate
FlySafair’s passengers, honouring the ticket prices and dates of travel as agreed
to with FlySafair. Passengers are requested to contact Comair’s call centre on on
010 492 2230 or email reaccommodations@comair.co.za and they will assist.

We trust this letter provides further clarity on the situation FlySafair is currently
faced with. We appreciate your support and look forward to taking to the South
African skies in the near future.

Should you have any questions not relating to rebooking or refund procedures,
you are, as always, welcome to contact me at dave@safair.co.za.


Dave Andrew
CEO – FlySafair

FlySafair: AG Slide Show

Air Zara to fly internationally on August 3


Comair's 737-244 ZS-SIL (msn 22591) taxies at Johannesburg in full Air Zara International's 2008 colors.  Copyright Photo: Sean Mowatt.

Comair's 737-244 ZS-SIL (msn 22591) taxies at Johannesburg in full Air Zara International's 2008 colors. Copyright Photo: Sean Mowatt.

Air Zara International (Zara Airways) (Dar es Salaam) is now planning to launch its first international routes to both Johannesburg (originally planned for July 4) and Moroni (Comoros Islands) on August 3. The new airline is leasing two 110-seat Boeing 737-200s from Safair. The company received its AOC in October 2008 and has been operating domestic flights in Tanzania with a Beech King Air B200 and a Beech (Raytheon) 1900C.


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