Cape Town - Airlink has confirmed it is suspending air services on their Pretoria-Cape Town routes from 8, May 2018.
Airlink CEO, Rodger Foster cited the move was to stem losses due to poor uptake on the route which had "not developed as expected" after almost three years since its inception.
The airline says customers holding confirmed tickets for travel after the 8th May 2018 will be re-booked on alternative SAA flights between OR Tambo International and Cape Town, or offered a full refund.
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Since mid-August 2015 the Wonderboom – Cape Town service has provided Tshwane-based government officials, private sector businesses and leisure travellers with a convenient service between Pretoria and the Mother City.
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Until recently, Airlink operated up to four daily return flights on the route, using a combination of 83-seat Avro RJ85 and 37-seat Embraer ERJ135LR regional jets to deliver an effective full-service value proposition offering on the route.
“Sadly, the route has not become profitable, despite our collaborative best efforts – including significant marketing initiatives by the City of Tshwane, to promote the connection. The combination of operational constraints on the size of aircraft that can be used on the route and the poor state of the economy have not helped,” says Foster.
“A compounding factor has been Government’s understandable and commendable belt-tightening efforts, which include cut-backs in government-related travel,” he says.
Foster says the financial viability of the route would be continually assessed for its viability, stating "We are not closing the door, as we believe the Pretoria-Cape Town connection is important. With this in mind, we will continually re-assess the market and the economy so that we can resume the service when the conditions are conducive. "
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