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

2020-01-16 15:21
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As South African Airways (SAA) tangles with the realities of being in business rescue, Airlink has announced on Thursday that it will separate itself from SAA's flight designator and will start operating on its own flight code - '4Z'.

According to their press statement, this independence will give the airline more opportunities to develop more routes, frequencies and agreements with other international airlines. It will come into effect from 11 June 2020.

READ:Flight Centre continues ban on SAA flights, as business rescue process starts

“Marketing and selling flights under our own 4Z code is an exciting development for Airlink as we propagate our business and take advantage of new market opportunities," says Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.

"At the same time, we will be able to strengthen our vital partnership with SAA. We sincerely regret any short term inconvenience these changes may cause for our customers. This represents the best way to ensure we continue serving all our passengers in a seamless manner, whilst also securing the best interests of Airlink, its customers, employees, suppliers and shareholders for the future.”

“While we  intend working with SAA’s business rescue practitioners to find a solution that enables SAA to continue playing its important role in the Southern African market, we have a responsibility to take action to preserve Airlink’s viability as a financially-robust, independent and privately-owned airline. However, should SAA’s circumstance worsen, then Airlink will activate the transition sooner – immediately, if necessary,” he said.

ALSO SEE: SAA revises schedule as business rescue gets underway with added R2bn lifeline

What this means for Airlink ticket holders

To operate independently, Airlink is obliged to switch from using the 'SA8' flight code and '083' ticketing code to its unique '4Z' prefix. 

This transition has been implemented and is effective as from 11 June 2020 when all Airlink inventory and flights will have the '4Z' designator. 

Tickets already in issue for travel on flights with 'SA8' flight numbers will remain valid for travel subject to being re-accommodated. Airlink will work with travel agents, tour operators and customers to expedite the re-accommodation.

Customers holding SAA 083 tickets for flights after 10 June, who prefer not to be re-accommodated, may seek a refund through SAA, which will manage it in line with its business rescue policies.  Depending on how customers purchased their ticket, they may also be able to pursue other available refund avenues like credit card companies or insurance.

In the meantime, Airlink will continue to sell tickets for flights operated on the SA8 code up to 10 June 2020.  These are available through travel agents, tour operators, on both the Airlink and SAA websites, as well as all other online booking platforms.

SEE: Competition to connect SA to its regional neighbours heats up

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