SA Airlink changes its name

Privately-owned regional airline SA Airlink has changed its company name to Airlink, as part of a 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,” the airline said in a statement.

Airlink said it has since signed interline agreements with Qatar Airways, Emirates, British Airways, KLM, Air France and United. Airlink flights are now sold on and are 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 chief executive officer 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.”

He said that Airlink plans to announce additional new and reinstated routes in the coming weeks and months.

Silver lining

Airlink took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns to focus on business continuity and future position in what has become a completely changed market, said Foster.

“The measures we have taken have all been in the best interests of the company, its employees, customers, suppliers, and shareholders. Today Airlink is a financially sound and robust business,” he said.

The most visible change will be the introduction of a new corporate livery and branding, which will soon be revealed, Foster said.

“In the meantime, we continue to remain focussed on the job at hand, operating our schedule and keeping our customers happy by flying them to their destinations safely, on time and affordably,” said Foster.

Read: SAA and other state companies likely to get bailouts in this week’s budget

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SA Airlink changes its name