Don't confuse us with SA Express, says SA Airlink

2020-02-07 14:22
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As the two of the state-operated entities SA Express and South African Airways deal with the consequences of business rescue, privately-run airline SA Airlink wants its customers to know it is not in any trouble. 

"Airlink is completely independent and not to be confused with the State-owned feeder airline, SA Express, which the Johannesburg High Court ruled should be placed in Business Rescue."

In fact, Airlink competes against SA Express on routes linking Johannesburg with Walvis Bay, Kimberley, Gaborone, Bloemfontein, Hoedspruit, Bulawayo and Mthatha.

READ: Court rules SA Express must be placed into business rescue, but airline will appeal

“We want to assure travellers that Airlink’s schedule and services on those routes will not be affected. Should any SA Express flight be cancelled, we will gladly re-accommodate them on our services in order to minimize their inconvenience," says Rodger Foster, Airlink CEO and Managing Director.

For clarity, all Airlink flights and tickets carry the prefix “SA8”, while all SA Express flight numbers start with the prefix “SA1”.  

“Airlinks flights will operate under the “SA8” flight code until 10 June 2020, after which they will be operated under Airlink’s unique “4Z” code.   

UPDATE: The 18 routes SAA will continue to operate, as it cancels most of its domestic flights

In January the airline announced it would separate from SAA. This decision represents an important milestone in extending the commercial reach of the airline in its own right, says the airline. 

Selling seats on flights under the “4Z” flight code will enable Airlink to develop more routes and frequencies on an independent basis, as well as extend opportunities to establish new agreements with leading international airlines. 

READ: What passengers need to know about Airlink's separation from SAA's flight code

The change marks a new era in the long-standing commercial agreement with SAA, dating back to 1997. While SAA remains an important strategic pillar in Airlink’s strategy, the new arrangement gives Airlink the freedom to extend its commercial reach, develop more routes and frequencies on an independent basis and extend or establish additional agreements with other leading international airlines.

The “4Z” tickets are already available through travel agents, tour operators and online at

*Compiled by Selene Brophy

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