Airlink, the privately-owned Southern African airline, revealed its new tailfeathers, distinguishing itself as a completely independent carrier.
The new look, which features a distinctively colourful African Sunbird set against a sunrise and dawn sky, follows several recent developments, including the formal re-naming of the company as “Airlink”. It signifies the airline’s new strategy, as an independent, agile, responsive and financially robust business that is free of any brand association with its former franchise partner, South African Airways.
“We have flown that particular nest and we are inviting our loyal and new customers to fly with us as Airlink expands its network, connecting and re-connecting people, communities, businesses, goods and services with markets throughout Southern Africa and beyond,” explains Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.
The new livery will be applied to Airlink’s fleet over the coming months, with the re-painting coinciding with each aircraft’s next scheduled deep-maintenance overhaul. This will avoid disrupting the airline’s operations. The first aircraft bearing the new colours will resume service in early December, in time for the summer holiday season.
“Independence and freedom are Airlink’s core propositions. We offer the freedom of the broadest route network and most comprehensive flight schedule in the South African domestic and Southern African regional markets, along with convenient connections with our global partners’ services, which gives our customers the choice of flights and seamless connections, whether travelling for business, personal or pleasure,” said Mr Foster.
“In celebrating our independence, we are giving our customers added free benefits, such as free check-in allowance for baggage and sporting equipment, a business class service on select E-jet flights as well as complimentary onboard catering,” he added.
Airlink recently launched frequent daily services on what have historically been South Africa’s (and Africa’s) busiest city pairings; Johannesburg – Cape Town and Johannesburg – Durban in addition to Johannesburg-Port Elzabeth and Johannesburg – East London.
It also inaugurated its first new routes linking Johannesburg with Maputo as well as Johannesburg with Windhoek.
With the phased relaxation of domestic and regional travel restrictions, Airlink has re-started services to all 15 of South Africa’s main economic and tourist centres. In addition, it is operating to Zimbabwe (Harare and Bulawayo), Zambia (Lusaka, Ndola and soon also Livingstone), Namibia (Windhoek and Walvis Bay), Lesotho (Maseru), Eswatini (Sikhuphe) and Mozambique (Maputo, Pemba, Beira and Vilanculos).
Next week Airlink will resume flights to Botswana (Gaborone, followed next month by Maun and Kasane) and will restart flights to Madagascar in December (Nosy Be, while it awaits the re-opening of Antananarivo.
Flights to St Helena will re-commence as soon as it is permissible. Airlink also plans to parade its new tailfeathers to several other established and new destinations as they come online over the coming weeks and months.