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7 April 2021

Airlink Flights to Polokwane Suspended Due to Airport Non-Compliance

Airlink, the privately-owned and independent regional airline, regrets to advise of the suspension of its Polokwane services with immediate effect. 

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (“SACAA”) advised last night that with immediate effect the Polokwane airport had been de-categorized to CAT2 which is below the minimum level required for scheduled commercial air services. The current status of the airport presents as an operational safety concern and it would be illegal to operate scheduled services at the airport. It is regrettable that the airport did not advise Airlink of the impending threat of de-categorization and its inability to provide the minimum level of emergency services required to maintain its aerodrome license category. 

Airlink has explored all options including the possibility of operating at the “Pietersburg Civil” aerodrome, which also offers no rescue fire fighting services and therefore is unable to accept scheduled commercial flights. 

Airlink management will work with Polokwane airport management to establish when the airport will address its non-compliances and regain the minimum category required to accommodate schedule commercial air services. 

In the circumstances, unfortunately and most regrettably, Airlink has had to cancel its services today. We are unable to ascertain at this stage whether the airport will meet the minimum requirements for future services. Customers will be contacted directly, and an update will be provided as soon as Airlink receives more information from the Polokwane airport. 

“We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused by the suspension of this service. Customers holding confirmed tickets on the cancelled flights should contact their booking agent, tour operator or Airlink Reservations on 011 451 7300 and for refunds email [email protected]” said Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.

About Airlink

Airlink was established in 1992 and is an independent, privately-owned and BBBEE airline. It offers travellers a wide choice of flights across its comprehensive network of Southern African destinations, which it serves with a fleet of more than 50 modern jetliners.

Like its industrious sunbird icon, in 2019 Airlink carried more than two million customers on more than 63 000 flights and its network includes more than 30 destinations in 10 African countries and St Helena Island*. Airlink’s flight schedule is regularly updated and reflects the effects of COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions. The latest information is available on the Airlink website here. 

Airlink was South Africa’s most punctual airline in 2020**. In February 2021 97.87% of Airlink flights departed on-time, illustrating its laser-focus on providing customers with excellent and reliable service.

* Flights serving St Helena Island will resume when the current travel restrictions are lifted.
**measured by the Airports Company South Africa.