Airlink suspends flights connecting Pietermaritzburg to Cape Town

2018-07-12 13:07 - Kavitha Pillay
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Airlink's route connecting the Mother City to KwaZulu-Natal's capital city, Pietermaritzburg, will be suspended from October 2018.

The airline says that the suspension is due to the route not being profitable, despite its best efforts to promote the connection, together with significant marketing initiatives by the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce.

Karin Murray of Airlink says that the decision to suspend the flight route was not taken lightly, and after almost 17 months "the route has not developed as we expected it would."

The economic climate and small catchment of Pietermaritzburg residents also led to the decision, she says, adding that "In order to stem losses, we will suspend services from 1 October 2018".

SEE: UPDATE: Airlink adds lifeline flights to assist SA Express passengers

Airlink's Pietermaritzburg to Cape Town service, which has been operational since 6 February 2017, provided locally based government officials, private sector businesses, industries and communities located in and around Pinetown, Kloof, Hillcrest, Howick, Midlands and leisure travellers with a convenient direct service between the cities.

The airline currently operates daily return flights on the route using 37-seat Embraer ERJ135LR regional jets.  

Airlink apologises for any inconvenience caused by the route suspension and is offering customers a full refund if they have confirmed tickets for travel after 29 September 2018. 

Customers with queries can call the Airlink Agent Helpline on 011 451 7350 or Airlink Customer Care on 027 11 451 7337/ 7371/ 7338/ 7395 or email customercare@flyairlink.com

ALSO SEE: #AfriTravel: Airlink increases capacity between Joburg and Walvis Bay route

The airline also suspended its Cape Town to St Helena route and Pretoria to Cape Town service earlier in 2018.

While these route suspensions is not good news for local travel, the airline has boosted its flight offering to other places such as launching direct flights between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

In a boost for #AfriTravel, it increased capacity on its Johannesburg to Walvis Bay service offerings with a bigger plane. In addition to the Namibia capacity increase, the airline has improved its service offering on certain routes including the Johannesburg - Pietermaritzburg, and Johannesburg - Kasane, Botswana routes.