South African private sector airline Airlink has announced that it has formally changed its name – to Airlink. Although the airline has been publicly using the name Airlink for some months now, its official, legal, name was SA Airlink. Now its official name is the same as its public name. This step was taken to emphasise that the carrier is a totally independent airline.
For 23 years, Airlink had had a franchise agreement with State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA). That was ended earlier this year and Airlink started operating and issuing tickets under its own 4Z code (whereas previously it had used SAA’s SA code) and its tickets are no longer sold via the SAA website but through its own flyairlink website. Airlink has subsequently entered into interline agreements with a number of major global airlines, namely Air France, British Airways, Emirates, KLM, Qatar Airways and United.
“The subtle, but significant, name change is a key element of our repositioning, recovery and growth strategy,” explained Airlink CEO and MD 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. Airlink plans to announce additional new and reinstated routes in the coming weeks and months.”
The airline will also, in the near future, unveil its new corporate branding and livery. “In the meantime, we continue to remain focused on the job at hand, operating our schedule and keeping our customers happy by flying them to their destinations safely, on time and affordably,” he assured.
During the national lockdown to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, the airline focused on maintaining business continuity. It benefits from being self-sufficient, having its own pilot and cabin crew training and aircraft maintenance facilities. This has helped it to face what is a radically different market, post-lockdown.
“The measures we have taken have all been in the best interests of the company, its employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders,” he affirmed. “Today Airlink is a financially sound and robust business.”