LATEST TRAVEL NEWS AND UPDATES
Spreading our wings to Nairobi
We are spreading our wings with a new daily Johannesburg-Nairobi service, which will see it become the first private sector airline to offer flights on the route from 24 April 2023. We will provide much-needed competition and additional choices for business and leisure travellers. Kenya becomes the 15th country in Airlink’s comprehensive sub-Saharan route network and its third in East Africa. The service will be operated with Airlink’s comfortable and efficient state-of-the-art 98-seat Embraer E190 jetliners.
Flights to Madagascar Resume
The resumption of flights linking Johannesburg with Antananarivo follows the lifting of Madagascar’s COVID-19 travel restrictions and its subsequent ban on air services to and from South Africa.
Departing South Africa
Travellers departing South Africa to a regional destination are required to confirm the regulations with the relevant authorities prior to departure.
Refunds & Re-Issues
Airlink Advises of Resolution of Ticket Re-issue and Re-accommodation of SAA Tickets Issued on Airlink Flights
Airlink advises that it has reached agreement with South African Airways in business rescue (for the re-accommodation of SAA tickets issued from 6 December 2019 for travel on Airlink flights. In terms of the agreement, Airlink will re issue and re accommodate SAA (083) tickets issued on Airlink SA8 flights on Airlink (749) tickets for travel on future Airlink 4Z flights.
Airlink’s ticketing team will manage the re issue and re accommodation process. “This process is time consuming and we thank our travel partners and customers for their patience whilst our team of ticketing agents processes the ticket re-accommodation and re-issuing said Rodger Foster", MD and CEO.
Once tickets have been re-accommodated and re-issued Airlink customers will be able to contact Airlink’s customer care team to arrange their re-booking in accordance with Airlink’s published policy. It is important for Airlink customers to be aware that in terms of Airlink’s (now discontinued) franchise relationship with SAA, ticket sale revenue resides with SAA for all 083 SA8 tickets until such time as the flight liability has been fulfilled. The re-accommodation agreement will allow the transfer of the ticket sale revenue together with liability for service delivery to Airlink. Therefore until the re accommodations have been affected, Airlink cannot arrange re-bookings as the ticket sale revenue is in SAA’s possession.
Regrettably the re-accommodation solution does not apply to tickets purchased prior to 6 December 2019. Airlink customers holding SAA tickets purchased before 6 December 2019 should refer to SAA ’s business rescue practitioners, Mr. Les Matuson and Mr. Siviwe Dongwana, for further guidance.
Re-accommodation of 083 tickets issued from 6 December 2019 on Airlink SA8 flights will begin immediately and will endure for the next few weeks on condition that Airlink receives from SAA the ticket revenue associated with the re-accommodated tickets bearing in mind that SAA remains in the uncertain situation of being in business rescue.
Airlink apologizes to our valued customers and travel trade partners for the inconvenience of the prolonged wait in reaching this positive outcome. Airlink regrets the inconvenience to customers who purchased SAA tickets prior to 6 December 2019 on Airlink flights.
Frequently Asked Questions - SAA Ticket Re-Issue
Airlink has the database of SA8/083 tickets issued in the period from 06 December 2019 onwards and will reissue according to a pre-determined process.
The processing of the re-accommodations and reissues will be divided into two categories. The first category applies to: -
- Suspended SA8/083 tickets where passenger no-showed – refund on taxes only (as per fare rules).
- Open SA8/083 tickets over the lockdown period that require re-accommodation.
Point 1 and 2 above relates to tickets issued from 06 December 2019 for travel between 06 December 2019 up to 10 June 2020. The bookings will be re-accommodated in sequential ticket number order onto fictitious flight numbers. Once all these reissues have been done, Airlink will send out a media request asking people who had bookings in that period to contact Airlink with details of their new dates. Please note that this does not apply to passengers who have no-showed on Airlink flights – these tickets will remain non-refundable. The definition of a no-show is a passenger who does not cancel his/her booking even though the flight is still operating.
The second category applies to: -
- Original SA8/083 tickets to be re-accommodated onto 4Z/749 tickets
Point 1 above relates to all tickets issued from 06 December 2019 for travel from 11 June 2020 onwards. The rebooking’s and reissues will be handled in date order and Airlink will get in touch with each passenger/agent, where contact details are available, to ascertain if they are still going to travel on the current dates or if they require a date change.
It is impossible to say but it could take months on the basis that there are tens of thousands of tickets to reissue. Airlink will process the bookings as fast as possible.
The heading and first paragraph of our most recent press release mentions “after the 06 December 2019”. It should read “from 06 December 2019”, in terms of defining the date period for these reissues.
Airlink was given authorization by SAA’s business rescue practitioners to reissue tickets booked from the 06 December only – this is the day after SAA went into business rescue. All tickets issued prior to this date fall outside the scope of the agreement and are subject to a moratorium in terms of SAA’s business rescue process. The ticket sale funds for all SA8 tickets reside with SAA, and therefore Airlink is unable to accept these tickets unless the associated funds are made available.
SAA has advised that they will issue vouchers to the value of those tickets for use towards any SAA designated future flight. This appears to be the only option right now, other than to wait and see what happens to SAA and the government guarantees that are meant to be in place to cover the value of all the tickets.
As much as Airlink would like Agencies to assist with rebooking and reissuing flights from 083 ticket stock to 749 ticket stock, this would be deemed a CIP Violation. Airlink has been given temporary permission to commit this violation in order to move the flights across but unfortunately this cannot be extended to operators and agents.
Yes, one free date change is permitted within 2 years of the original date of issue (the date of issue of the original SA8/083 ticket, not the new re-issued date on 4Z/749)
All date change re-issues must be completed prior to 31 December 2021, or earlier in the case of any bookings made between the 06 - 31 December 2019. As the extended ticket validity is two years from date of original issue, all travel must be completed prior to the last day of the validity.
Re-routings will be as per fare rules.
One free date change will be permitted within the 2-year ticket validity. When reissuing on the same routing and same booking class, the reissue will be at no ADC utilizing the applicable waiver auth (this will be done by Airlink). In the event that the same booking class is not available, the difference in fare and taxes must be collected but the rebooking fee will still be waived.
Please note that when Airlink reissues the ticket from SA8/083 to 4Z/749, this does not constitute utilization of the free change. This process is merely to get the booking across into the new system and onto the new code. The free date change is reserved for use by the passenger when deciding on a new date.
What if the original ticket was issued prior to 06 December but reissued for another date after the 06 December 2019?
The original date of issue precludes Airlink from reissuing the ticket onto 4Z/749.
Once the tickets have been re-accommodated onto 4Z/749, will all future changes need to be handled by Airlink.
Yes, Airlink will have control of the bookings due to the reissuing process.
Airlink will endeavour to try and replicate as many of the original requests as possible for all bookings.
Airlink will incur a 13% Interline Service Charge billed to Airlink for reissuing the tickets. Airlink will absorb these costs for all tickets that maintain their bookings and travel within the 2-year ticket validity. However, in the event of a refund, the interline service charge will be deducted from the base fare and YQ component of the ticket, plus the applicable cancellation fee will be applied as per the fare rules.
Any Airlink schedule changes prior to 11 March 2020 are classified as changes to our network and a full refund may be requested. Any schedule changes/cancellations of flights from the 11 March 2020 (the day the world Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic) are considered force majeure and standard refund processes apply – refund as per fare rules. This will remain in place until such time as domestic, regional and international travel bans are lifted worldwide.
Due to the vast volume of refund requests coming through, the processing time may take up to four months from date of submission. Every effort will be made to process refunds as quickly as possible.
Please send your refund request to [email protected] along with the relevant documentation – please see below .
Once a ticket has been reissued to 4Z/749, the original form of payment can no longer be accessed properly. With that in mind, all original tickets issued utilizing a credit card can only have their refund processed via EFT. Please send through a bank confirmation letter or bank statement, not older than 3 months, reflecting the name of the person who paid for the original ticket, account number (plus swift code if applicable), physical address of the bank, physical address of the account holder along with the ticket number, when requesting a refund.
In some instances both the old and new flights details will be seen in the original booking but due to the various reservation systems involved, this may not always be the case.
What happens if I already have a voucher for SAA in exchange for my Airlink ticket but prefer to have my original Airlink flight instead?
We are still waiting for a response from SAA regarding the possibility of voiding the voucher and permitting the original ticket to be reissued to the corresponding Airlink flight.
Please email [email protected] immediately and advise that you are waiting for a SAA voucher and do not want your ticket reissued onto an Airlink flight. Please note that there is no guarantee that Airlink can extract the booking in time, but will do our best.
Tickets are non-transferable.
Are we guaranteed of having SA8 tickets booked after 06 December 2019 reissued onto 4Z/749 ticket stock?
Airlink will continue to reissue tickets on the basis that the funds for these tickets are paid over. In the event that payment for the reissued tickets are no longer made, Airlink will have no choice but to suspend ticket reissues immediately.
All published fares, group fares and FIT fares.
We are unable to accept any Industry (rebated), Agency or Voyager Redemption tickets for re-issuing
What happens if my ticket is part of a multi-sector itinerary containing SAA flights issued on SA8/083?
All Airlink SA8 sectors will be removed from the original itinerary and reissued onto 4Z/749 flight numbers. The remaining itinerary will stay as booked.
If I have already issued a new ticket on 4Z/749 in place of my old SA8 ticket, what happens to that old ticket now?
In the event that you have already bought a new ticket that matches the old ticket in name and routing, please send both tickets to [email protected] who will verify them both and send the original ticket in for refund.
At this stage the South African government has given no indication of when domestic, regional and international flights may recommence.
On account of the lockdown and suspension of air travel, Airlink only has skeleton staff working, largely on a remote basis. [email protected] or [email protected] can be contacted with any queries. Please note that due to excessive email volumes, the response may be delayed.
Download our Q&A about the 4Z re-accommodation and reissue of SAA tickets process.
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