Airlink regrets to announce the postponement of the resumption of its air services between Johannesburg and Richards Bay until 2 May 2021.
Services on the route were suspended in April 2020 following the COVID-19 hard lockdown. The delay in restarting services on the route has been necessitated by the Richards Bay Airport’s inability to provide the necessary emergency services due to slowed economic activity in the coal terminus harbour town, which has led to weak demand for travel.
“It is a classic Catch-22 situation. Historically there was strong demand on the route, enough to sustain up to three flights every day. However, the Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions have the consequence that only twenty percent of the usual number of people are allowed to be on-site at the coal terminal, which is the industrial heart of Richards Bay. This has been a major factor slowing the town’s industrial and economic tempo and epitomises the impact the lockdown typically has on the spectrum of Richards Bay businesses. As a result, passenger demand has weakened. The Richards Bay airport management has advised us that in the present climate, the expense of providing the necessary fire and rescue emergency services required to accommodate scheduled airline services cannot be justified until demand picks up,” explained Airlink Managing Director and CEO, Rodger Foster.
“We hope to resume services on the route in May, by which time we trust that the situation will have improved and the airport will once again be able to accommodate scheduled airline operations in compliance with the South African Civil Aviation Authority’s safety requirements,” added Mr Foster.
Airlink apologises to ticket holders for any inconvenience caused by the suspended service. Customers holding tickets for the following flights during February, March and April may request to be rebooked for travel at a later date, or for a refund. For details, please refer to the COVID-19 memo policy on https://www.flyairlink.com/important-info/covid-memo
Airlink’s flight schedule is available on our website: www.flyairlink.com/flightschedule
Customers should consult Airlink’s website https://www.flyairlink.com/ – manage, or contact our Reservations office on tel +27 11 451 7300 or their travel agencies for assistance with booking changes and refunds.
Airlink is a privately-owned regional airline serving a comprehensive network of smaller destinations throughout Southern Africa. We operate independently under our own unique 4Z flight code, offering our customers more freedom, more choices and more travel opportunities.
Look out for the Airlink sunbird on our striking new livery. Like our colourful feathered mascot, we are Southern Africa’s busiest airline and also its largest (measured by the number of flights we operate) carrier. In 2019 our fleet of more than 50 modern commercial jetliners carried two million customers on more than 63 000 flights, on 55 routes to 39 destinations in nine African countries and St Helena Island.
Airlink is proudly the most punctual South African airline for 2020* with an on-time performance consistently better than 95%. This illustrates our determination and unwavering commitment to putting our customers first by providing excellent and reliable service.