SA Airlink changes its name to distance itself from SAA

Business Insider SA
Privately-owned regional airline Airlink is seeking to interdict a creditors meeting to vote on the business rescue plan proposed for South African Airways.
  • The privately owned SA Airlink has officially changed its name to Airlink.
  • The company wants to put distance between it and its former partner of more than 20 years, SA Airways.
  • Airlink is now flying between Cape Town and Johannesburg, and Johannesburg and Durban, and has formed partnerships with large international airlines.
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The privately-owned airline previously known as SA Airlink has officially changed its name to Airlink.

This is part of its strategy to distinguish itself as a totally independent airline, the company said in a statement.

Airlink was in a partnership with SAA for more than 20 years, an arrangement that allowed SAA to sell tickets and fly passengers on Airlink flights. 

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But earlier this year, Airlink terminated its franchise agreement after SAA went into business rescue and failed to pay over more than R700 million of revenue for tickets issued on flights flown by Airlink.

Airlink has since established so-called “interline agreements” with Qatar Airways, Emirates, British Airways, KLM, Air France and United.

The agreements allow passengers to book connecting flights through either of the companies. Travellers won't have to book connecting flights separately. 

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Given that Airlink has new Johannesburg-Cape Town and Johannesburg-Durban flights, this means passengers can book a single ticket for a long-haul flight across the world. Airlink also flies to more than 20 regional destinations in Southern Africa, include Gaborone, Maun, Tete, Port Elizabeth, Lusaka, Harare and Victoria Falls.

Airlink flights are now sold on and no longer via SAA’s website.

“The subtle, but significant, name change is a key element of our re-positioning, recovery and growth strategy,” said Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.

“It should be seen together with recent commercial developments, including the interline agreements, the launch of our own mainline South African domestic services and new regional routes linking Johannesburg with Maputo and Windhoek." Airlink plans to announce additional new and reinstated routes in the coming weeks and months. 

New branding will also be released soon, the company said.

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