Airlink has upgraded its Johannesburg – Richards Bay service

4th December 2023 By: Rebecca Campbell - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

South African regional and domestic airline Airlink has announced that it has significantly upgraded its service on its Johannesburg-Richards Bay route, with effect from Monday. Previously operated by turboprop Jetstream 41 regional airliners, the route is now operated by Embraer E170 jet airliners.

While the Jetstream 41 can take 29 passengers, the E170 can accommodate 74. And replacing a turboprop with a jet cuts the flight time by up to 30 minutes.

“Richards Bay is crucial to South Africa’s economy and it requires reliable and efficient air services, like Airlink’s, to connect the city’s businesses and those dependent on it with other markets and economic centres,” pointed out Airlink CEO and MD Rodger Foster. “We are also keeping the promise we made to our partners, the City of uMhlathuze and the KwaZulu-Natal government, to deploy larger aircraft on the route once there was sufficient demand.”

Henceforth, the airline will operate flights between the two cities every day of the week, but at different times and different frequencies depending on the day.    

Flight 4Z 881 departs Johannesburg for Richards Bay at 06:15, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, arriving at 07:15; the return flight, on the same days, is coded 4Z 882 and leaves Richards Bay at 07:55 and reaches Johannesburg at 09:10. Flight 4Z 883 operates on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays (but not on Saturdays); it departs Johannesburg at 11:00 and lands at Richards Bay at 12:00; the return flight is coded 4Z 884 and leaves Richards Bay at 12:40 and arrives back in Johannesburg at 13:55.

Flight 4Z 885 is operated on five days a week – Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays; it leaves Johannesburg at 15:50 and reaches Richards Bay at 16:50; the return service is coded 4Z 886 and departs the coastal city at 17:30 and arrives in Johannesburg at 18h45. And flight 4Z 889 is flown only on Saturdays; it departs Johannesburg at 08:15, landing in Richards Bay at 09:15; the return flight, coded 4Z 890, leaves Richards Bay at 09:55 and lands at Johannesburg at 11:10.