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Airlink News

Looking for the latest news about Airlink? You've come to the right spot. This page contains an archive of the lastest news and history of the airline.

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General News

  • 27 October 2020: The airline has dropped the "SA" pre-fix to their name in order to distance themselves from SAA and the woes they face. Airlink is an independently run airline with no affiliation to SAA. From now on they will be known simply as Airlink.

  • 2 August 2017: SA Airlink are launching a new return flight between Cape Town and Pretoria from the 28th of August 2017. The new flight will depart Cape Town to arrive in Pretoria at 09h00 and depart Pretoria again at 17h30. This is catered towards businesss clients looking to make the most of their day.

  • 17 August 2016: SA Airlink will introduce an additional Bulawayo flight from the 5th of September 2016. The weekday flight targeted at business travellers will depart Johannesburg at 06h25 and the return flight will depart at 08h05. The airline will further increase capacity on this route over the Christmas period with additional afternoon flights from the 12th of December 2016 until the 15th of January 2017. Airlink's Sales and Marketing Manager, Karin Murray, has credited fleet growth for the additional routes: "The addition of a 19th aircraft to Airlink’s Embraer ERJ135 37 seat regional jet fleet has made the additional flights possible. The second flight will also allow Airlink to introduce additional capacity on the route."

  • 11 July 2016: SA Airlink has confirmed that all passengers and staff on flight SA8678 from Cape Town to Wonderboom has arrived safely in Pretoria. This despite earlier reports that the plane had been hijacked. The airline has confirmed that the radar system sent out an incorrect signal and that this was an anomaly.

  • 22 March 2016: SA Airlink has commenced flights between Cape Town and Maun, Botswana. The service is offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. They currently operate the route on an Embraer ERJ 135 regional jet aircraft with flights departing Cape Town at 10h35 and arriving in Maun at 13h05, and the return flights departing Maun at 13h35 and arriving back in Cape Town at 16h10. They are considering increasing flights during the peak travel period from August.

  • 5 October 2015: SA Airlink will launch flights between Cape Town and Maun, Botswana on the 11th of March 2016. The five weekly flights will depart on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

  • 10 December 2014: Skukuza International Airport has launched a beautiful new website. They have teamed up with Airlink to create one of the most interactive and user friendly airport websites in South Africa. There are beautiful videos and pictures to look at and you can even book a flight on Airlink through the site. Click here to see more.

Airlink will start operating a direct service between Cape Town and Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria from the 16th of August 2015. The airline will operate 3 daily return flights between CPT and PTA in an Avro RJ85 quad jet aircraft which seats 83 passengers. There will be both business and economy class seats available. Flight prices start from R892* one way.

  • SA Airlink announced that they will commence flights between Cape Town and Maun, Botswana on the 11th of March 2016. The 5 return flights per week will originally operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

  • The first scheduled flight between Wonderboom Airport and Cape Town airport took off on Sunday, the 16th of August 2015. This comes despite reports of fuel problems at the Pretoria airport. They will start out with three return flights daily, one early morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evenings.

    With affordable airfares starting from R892* it is likely to attract travellers from Pretoria who want to cut on travel time. Whilst Lanseria Airport is closer to Pretoria, many travellers still preferred travelling to and from OR Tambo as the Gautrain offers a convenient and affordable way to get to and from the airport. Cape Town flights from Pretoria offers them a third option that is closer to home.

  • SA Airlink is launching flights between Cape Town and Wonderboom, Pretoria. The first of the three daily flights will take to the skies on the 16th of August 2015. This service will be a great alternative to those making use of Lanseria airport as well as for Pretoria residents who had to travel all the way to Johannesburg.

  • Airlink has bought four new Cessna Caravans. The aircraft can seat a total of 12 passengers in comfort. The Caravans will be used to serve luxury lodges in and around the Kruger area. The aircraft will be used from March 2016 for flights in and out of Skukuza and Nelspruit to lodges like Londolozi and Mala Mala.

  • SA Airlink are reducing their fuel surcharges in line with the lower oil cost. They are following in the footsteps of FlySafair and Mango who both announced that they will be dropping prices due to the lower costs. The reduced prices will be available from the 9th of February 2015.

  • From the 2nd June 2014 SA Airlink is launching an additional flight on weekdays between CPT and George.

  • SA Airlink has added 3 new flights to Upington from Cape Town to their current operations. The flights that have been added will be operated on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays.
  • SA Airlink’s partner Avis Car Rental has recently launch a shuttle service between Skukuza Airport and Skukuza itself. Bookings can be made either upon arrival at Skukuza Airport or via the Airlink website. Avis is the official car rental service provider for Skukuza Airport.

  • All Airlink flights to Swaziland will from the 30th of September start operating to and from Sikhuphe/King Mswati III International Airport (SHO) instead of Matsapha International Airport. Matsapha Airport will be closed to all civilian international and regional flights from the 29th of September. The airline will operate three flights daily between JNB and SHO. Passengers who have already been ticketed on a flight to Matsapha will be flown on the Johannesburg - Sikhuphe route. Those who wish to travel from Sikhuphe to Matsapha Airport can do so on a shuttle service that will be provided by the Civil Aviation Authority of Swaziland.

  • In January 2014 SA Airlink were the most on-time at Cape Town International Airport (followed by British Airways Comair).

  • SA Airlink have vacancies for flight attendants in Johannesburg. Requirements are inter alia that you must be a 21 to 28 year old SA citizen with a grade 12 certificate (minimum C on standard grade english or D on higher grade English) and who is taller than 1.55m but shorter than 1.68m. To apply email your CV to "The Cabin Services Manager, PO Box 7495, Bonaero Park, 1622" - it must contain a motivation, full length photo, phone & email details, employment history, copy of matric certificate and any other qualifications.

  • December 2013. Airlink flights to Mthatha Airport are under military supervision in the runup to the state funeral of Nelson Mandela.

  • South African Airlink have appointed Menzies SA to handle the airline's ramp turnaround at CPT, DUR, PLZ, ELS, GRJ & JNB.

SA Airlink plane parked at Johannesburg Airport

  • December 2013. Airlink have introduced a service fee for passengers who buy or fetch a South African Airways or SA Express ticket from an Airlink booking office (if the flight includes an Airlink sector, there is no fee). The service fee is R500 for international flights and R200 for regional & domestic flights.

  • 27 September 2013. Airlink Statement in response to SA Express starting Johannesburg to Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg to Nelspruit & Cape Town to George flights: "The State Owned airline SA Express today announced that it will begin competing with the privately owned carrier Airlink on routes currently operated by Airlink in terms of its commercial agreement with SAA. While Airlink welcomes competition on any of its routes on a fair and equal basis, we feel strongly about being taken on by a technically insolvent State Owned airline using the taxpayer’s funds to compete with us unequally. Airlink is in its own right a taxpayer contributing more than R400m in taxes (VAT, PAYE, and Corporate Tax) annually to the Fiscus, and it is ironic that the State sees it fit to use taxpayer’s funds to compete with its bona fide taxpayers. We note that the SAX flights will operate using intellectual property owned by SAA, which places SAA in breach of its agreements with Airlink. The State owns a small stake in Airlink (3% held by SAA), with the balance of Airlink’s shares being privately held. Airlink is 32.5% broad based black owned with the beneficiaries of this ownership being more than 300,000 black families. Airlink supports over 1,000 families directly, with an additional 5,000 families being supported downstream."

  • March 2014. SA Airlink plans to start flights to Skukuza

  • . Airlink flight 4Z-8739 from JNB to Pietermaritzburg receives a fire warning on its outboard right hand engine number 4. The engine on the RJ85 plane was shut down, and the pilot turned the plane back to OR Tambo International Airport.

  • . SA Airlink has sold 4 Jetstream 41 planes to Brindabella Airlines (FQ, based in Australia).

  • 17 Apr 2013. SA Airlink teams up with Worldwide Flight Services to form Africa Flight Services (South Africa), AFS. AFS has a opened cargo handling warehouses at Cape Town International Airport and O.R. Tambo International Airport. Emirates SkyCargo is the initial customer of AFS. "Africa Flight Services (AFS) is a new brand for our expansion plans in Africa. This is an important and growing market for us and we want to give it a dedicated focus but with the ability to draw on all the expertise and resources of the WFS global network. AFS will enable us to enter into local partnerships and joint ventures, and to customise services and tailor resources to the needs of customers in this dynamic and rapidly growing market. We are proud to announce Emirates SkyCargo as our launch customer in Johannesburg and Cape Town and we are extremely appreciative of the airline’s support of our new partnership with SA Airlink. AFS is the start of an exciting new venture that will see us open additional stations in South Africa and southern Africa as well as expanding into other areas of activity.” said Barry Nassberg, COO of WFS.

  • April 2013. We love hearing about car guard musician, Allen Abraham, and in their April 2013 in-flight magazine, the editor Airlink gives him a hat-tip. He recently got invited to travel to Dubai to perform for expats there "On an aeroplane, they must just put my plane right at the top, so that if anything happens I'm ready". Airlink also do a write-up on Vilanculos in Mozambique & Mpumalanga's top attractions (Mac Mac swimming pools, Cosmos Country, Pilgrim's Rest, Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, God's Window, Barberton, Bird Paradise, Animal Planet and Dullstroom. First Car Rental advertise their 45 branches in the April edition of Skyways

  • 22 Mar 2013. Airlink moves an Embraer ERJ135 jet onto the Nelspruit to Livingstone flight route, allowing for a shorter flying time. "Airlink looks forward with enthusiasm to playing a role in the further growth of this market to the benefit of all tourism product stakeholders," said Airlink in a statement.

  • 4 Mar 2013. It's reported that Swazi Airlink will have to switch from Matsapha Airport near Mbabane & Manzini to Skhuphe Airport, once it is completed in August/September 2013.

  • 4 Nov 2012. A 6th weekly flight is added for Johannesburg - Nampula flights.

  • 1 Oct 2012. Airlink increases the frequency of its Durban - Bloemfontein flights from 2 to 3 a day.

  • 1 Oct 2012. Airlink starts using an Embraer ERJ135 jet on its Johannesburg - Mthatha flights, shortening the trip to 1 hour.

27 Aug 2012

Airlink increases its Johannesburg - Pemba schedule to 4 a week.

Aug 2012

Airlink in-flight magazine for August 2012:

- Airlink in empowerment deal

Aug 2012

South African Airlink adds a Tuesday flight to increase its Nelspruit Kruger - Livingstone flight frequency to 5 weekly flights.

8 Aug 2012

Airlink flight SA-8663, an Avro RJ-85 (registration ZS-SSK) plane, from Cape Town to Nelspruit needs to shut down an engine as a result of loss of oil pressure about half way into the flight, & continud safely on to Nelspruit on the 3 remaining engines.

6 Jul 2012

Sishen Iron Ore Company Community Development Trust purchases 35.1% of Airlink from Nedbank. The trust was created in 2006 to assist communities at Thabazimbi and Sishen South mines. The CEO of Airlink Rodger Foster, said: “ Airlink is now firmly positioned on the forefront of transformation in the aviation industry...Our shareholding now exceeds the criteria committed to in the air transport sector BEE charter and qualifies Airlink to secure additional regional routes as designated by the International Air Services Licensing Council... There are wonderful synergies between SIOC and Airlink, with SIOC having been spun from the mining sector with continued investment interests in the sector, and with Airlink offering scheduled air services to many mining industrial destinations throughout Sadc – there is every prospect that new route opportunities will be identified and explored.”

2 May 2012

Sabena technics is awarded a 5 year landing gear support contract for South African Airlink's BAe146-RJ85 fleet of 8 planes.

1 Feb 2012

Airlink has commissioned a Jetstream 41 simulator at its premises at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport. Danie Kuys, Simuflight director, said that "Training pilots is expensive. In the past crews had to be sent to the UK twice per year to get to the nearest simulator, they would be away for a period of about 10 days and completely unproductive during that time. At a cost of R7 million, the Simuflight machine now does the job in a few afternoons at OR Tambo without anyone having to leave the country; it will pay for itself during the first year of operation."

10 Nov 2011

Airlink Emergency landing in O.R. Tambo, after its landing gear malfunctions

14 Sep 2010

Spring to summer special - Durban to George from R513.

14 Sep 2010

BAE Systems announces that Airlink is going to lengthen its lease on 2 Jetstream turboprop planes, and purchase 4 Avro RJ85 jets.

3 Feb 2010

TTA Airlink is formed as a joint venture between SA Airlink (49%) and the Mozambican carrier, TTA.

21 Jan 2010

The Commissioner for Civil Aviation decides to uplift the suspension of the certificates of airworthiness for the remainder of the SA Airlink Jetstream aircraft fleet with effect from the 21st January 2010, subject to the condition that SA Airlink conduct aircraft maintenance inspections as prescribed by the SACAA on the remaining 11 aircraft and submits evidence that the inspections have been carried out as instructed.

23 Dec 2009

Airlink jetstream fleet is grounded by the CAA from midnight on the 23rd December.

7 Dec 2009

Airlink flight E135 from Cape Town to George, overruns the George runway 11 while landing in light rain, and ends up on the adjacent road. Seven passengers and the first officer had minor injuries.

18 Nov 2009

An SA Airlink plane leaves the runway and skids onto the grass, on takeoff from Port Elizabeth to East London. All 29 passenges as well as the crew are unharmed.

9 Oct 2009

The left inboard main gear tyre on an Airlink flight SA-8008 from Johannesburg to Manzini (Swaziland) bursts on takeoff. The plane is landed safely at Johannesburg a few minutes later. The plane was an Embraer ERJ-135.

24 Sep 2009

Airlink flight 8911 crashes near Durban

2 Jul 2009

An Airlink flight SA8663 from Cape Town to Nelspruit (Kruger), returns to Cape Town after one of its 4 engines failed with a loud bang and a jolt during the initial climb from Cape Town International Airport. The aircraft was a British Aerospace BAe146-200.

6 Feb 2008

The Operational Safety Audit of IATA is completed.

4 Oct 2007

Airlink's tender proposal which involved Air Botswana being wound down, is rejected by the Botswana government.

Oct 2006

Airlink ends its three-way alliance with SA Express and SAA (but continues to maintain various cooperative agreements, such as the interoperability of online booking engines).

14 Mar 2006

G Fish & Others complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority that there is no flight to George as indicated in SA Airlink flight advert: "suprisingly low fares from R114* one way", and that once taxes are added fares are similar to the usual prices on other airlines, and that the prices are therefore not "surprisingly low". Airlink undertake never to use the advertising in its current format again.

Jan 2006

SA Airlink is renamed "Airlink".

11 Feb 2005

The Advertising Standards Authority dismisses a complaint by Andre Kleynhans, that flights from Lanseria to Cape Town cost R900, not the advertised Airlink price of R775. Airlink's advertising agency, Visual Volcano, contends that the R775 advertised was for a return flight, and that Andre Kleynhans had booked a 1-way flight.

Jul 1999

Swaziland Airlink is established, as a JV between SA Airlink (40%) and the Swaziland Government (60%), taking over from Royal Swazi National Airways Corporation as the national carrier of Swaziland. The company is based at Matsapha Airport.


SA Airlink enters into a three-way alliance with SA Express and South African Airways (SAA).


SA Airlink is formed through the amalgamation of a number of airlines - Border Air, Citi Air, Link Airways, Lowveld Aviation Services, Magnum Airways and Midlands Aviation.

11 Jun 1992

Barrie Webb & Rodger Foster purchase Link Airways out of liquidation.


Midlands Aviation is formed.

Flight Routes

  • 20 Jan 2016. Airlink announced today that they will be reintroducing flights between Johannesburg and Nosy Be, Madagascar from the 20th of March 2016. They will operate the route once weekly, with flights arriving and departing on Sundays. Due to headwinds and the routing, a technical stop in Vilanculos, Mozambique is necessary to refuel. The route will be operated by an Embraer ERJ 135 regional jet aircraft, with 20 seats belonging to MadagasCaT Charters and 17 seats available on GDS systems. From the 10th of March 2016, they will also start operating flights from Cape Town to Maun, Botswana.

  • 04 Sep 2014. Airlink announced today that they will be reintroducing flights between Cape Town and Windhoek from the 6th of October 2014. There will be two daily flights on Mondays to Fridays from Cape Town International Airport to Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek.

  • 03 Sep 2014. Airlink is launching flights from OR Tambo, Johannesburg to Sishen Airport, Northern Cape on 29 September 201. Airlink will offer two daily flights from Mondays to Fridays on an Embraer 135 Regional Jet Aircraft. This will serve the larger mining district Kathu.

  • 20 Jan 2014. Flights from Johannesburg to Gaborone are successully launched. The airlines is flying 10 flights a week on weekdays in Avro RJ85s.

  • 17 October 2013. Airlink loads up flights from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein, Johannesburg to Richards Bay (starting price R2606 return) & Johannesburg to Kimberley (starting price R2885 return), starting on 18 November 2013. These routes were previously only flown by SA Express.

    30 May 2013. Airlink becomes the first airline to land on Mthatha Airport's new runway: “This logistical hub will not only serve transportation and trade for the easter region of the province but on a local level becomes the next urban centre that complements the development of the first of the four nodes of the City of Mthatha.” said Thandiswa Marhawu, Transport MEC.

  • Aug 2013. Airlink switches to a daily flight service between Johannesburg & Kasane.

  • Mid 2013. Airlink originally planned to begin flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg's Grand Central Airport.

  • 6 May 2013. Airlink adds an additional return flight between Johannesburg and Upington, from Mondays to Fridays.

  • 22 Mar 2013. Airlink commences 4 weekly flights from JNB to Kasane in Botswana; which are scheduled to leave O.R. Tambo International Airport at 11h45 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Flights are operated in Embraer ERJ 135 jets.

  • 22 Mar 2013. Airlink commences JNB to Vilanculos flights.

  • 15 Mar 2013. Flights between OR Tambo & Maun are upgraded to being flown in Avro RJ85 jets, with a business class service (14 seats) and 69 economy class seats.

  • Jun 2012. Airlink launches daily JNB to Maun flights on Embraer ERJ135 aircraft.

  • 11 Apr 2012. Airlink adds an additional 2 weekly flights to its JNB - Ndola route

  • 10 Mar 2012. Airlink adds a Saturday flight to increase its Nelspruit Kruger - Livingstone flight frequency to 4 weekly flights.

  • 2 Aug 2011. Gearing up for the summer holiday season, Airlink has reintroduced its Wednesday flights from Joburg to Pemba (Mozambique).

  • 5 Sep 2011. Airlink reintroduces Bloemfontein to Port Elizabeth flights on Mondays and Thursdays.

  • 6 Jun 2011. Airlink begins a 2nd morning flight from Pietermaritzburg to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport.

  • 15 Aug 2009. Airlink starts flights from Nelspruit Kruger to Livingstone (Zambia).

  • Aug 2013. Airlink switches to a daily flight service between Johannesburg & Kasane.



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