Airlink, the South African-based domestic and regional airline, said it is suspending all operations after midnight this Thursday, 26 March 2020 in support of South Africa’s lock-down to slow and contain the spread of the COVID-19 “Coronavirus”.
“In the face of this global public health emergency, the safety and well-being of our customers, crew, employees their families and communities is our priority. It is our responsibility and civic duty to support and comply with the new and stringent measures restricting everyone’s movement, which were announced on Monday night by President Ramaphosa,” said Airlink Managing Director and Chief Executive, Rodger Foster.
“We intend to gradually reinstate a new optimised schedule of services once the lock-down has been lifted. Whilst the restrictions are currently intended to last for 21 days, we will take our cue from the Government and the relevant health authorities. Our target date for recommencing operations will be 20 April 2020 and we will continue to keep our Customers, Travel Agents and Operators informed should unforeseen circumstances necessitate a change to this date,” added Mr. Foster.
Airlink had already planned to operate independently using its own flight code “4Z” from 11 June 2020, this will now be brought forward to 20 April 2020 as we resume our schedule.
The last date for the acceptance for travel on Airlink SA8 flights for passengers holding SAA “083” tickets will be this Thursday 26 March 2020. Thereafter passengers will need to purchase a new ticket on Airlink – 4Z (749).
The airline stated further that holders of tickets for travel on SA8 after 26 March 2020 with a ticket number commencing with the digits “083” should contact SAA for a refund as SAA holds the funds paid in advance for these bookings on behalf of Customers. SAA refunds may be contacted on +27 11 978 1786 or email email@example.com. Airlink SA8 flights will no longer feature after 26 March 2020.
Airlink has requested SAA to temporarily suspend the interline agreement which was implemented to facilitate the re-accommodation of current SAA bookings issued in conjunction with Airlink’s SA8 flights which were to have been re-accommodated onto Airlink’s 4Z flights.
“Airlink Customer Care team will be available in the lockdown period during office hours to assist passengers with queries about 4Z bookings on firstname.lastname@example.org. We are still seeking clarity from the authorities on our ability to operate additional customer and agent telephonic support during the lockdown period,” Ailink noted.
“On behalf of Airlink, I want to thank our customers, suppliers and service providers for their patience, understanding, support and cooperation during these unprecedented times, in this unfortunate apocalyptic situation that is totally beyond our control,” said Mr Foster.