Tuesday, October 1, 2013

► SOUTH AFRICA: Airlink resumes Skukuza ops from June 2014; rebuffs SA Express' recent route launch announcement.

SA AirlinkSouth Africa's Airlink (4Z) has delayed the launch of flights to Skukuza from the previously announced March, to June 2, 2014. According to the carrier, it will commence direct daily flights between Johannesburg and Skukuza as well as Cape Town and Skukuza from Monday 2 June 2014 using an Embraer 135.

Skukuza Airport in 1999 (MGoodwan)
Regarding the upgrade of Skukuza Airport, the Skukuza Airport Management Company has completed detailed discussions and site visits with the SAN Parks technical team, the various contractors and the specialist project team members who have been appointed to bring the project to finality. 

A detailed critical path plan has been drawn up with input from all involved in the project and Airlink is comfortable that all works will be completed, with the necessary facilities and licensing in place to assure this start date for its schedule.

Airlink(4Z): Johannesburg - Skukuza
-Eff 02JUN
  • SA/4Z8861 JNB 1000 - 1050 SKZ ER3 D
  • SA/4Z8862 SKZ 1135 - 1240 JNB ER3 D
Cape Town - Skukuza
-Eff 02JUN
  • SA/4Z8651 CPT 1035 - 1305 SZK ER3 D
  • SA/4Z8652 SZK 1030 - 1305 CPT ER3 D
Meanwhile, Airlink has objected to SA Express' recent announcement that it will commence three new domestic South African flights with effect from November 1: Cape Town - George, Johannesburg (ORTIA) - Kruger/Mpumalanga and Johannesburg (ORTIA) - Pietermaritzburg, saying that "it feels strongly about being taken on by a technically insolvent State Owned airline using taxpayer's funds to compete with Airlink on the routes, albeit unequally.
"Airlink is in its own right a taxpayer contributing more than ZAR400million 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."
SA Express has yet to issue a response.