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Airline to suspend flights

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During the national lockdown period, SAA’s call centres will be closed

Ailing SAAs business rescue practitioners will need another two months to present their plan to save the national carrier, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. File picture: Rogan Ward/Reuters

THE LAST flight out of Kimberley will leave this evening at around 6.20pm after Airlink announced that it was suspending all operations as from midnight tonight.

This is being done in support of South Africa’s lockdown to slow and contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

“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 by President Ramaphosa,” Airlink managing director and chief executive Rodger Foster said.

“We intend to gradually reinstate a new optimised schedule of services once the lockdown 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 April 20, 2020 and we will continue to keep our customers, travel agents and operators informed should unforeseen circumstances necessitate a change to this date,” Foster added.

Airlink had already planned to operate independently using its own flight code “4Z” from June 11, 2020, this will now be brought forward to April 20, 2020 when the airline resumes its schedule.

The last date for the acceptance for travel on Airlink SA8 flights for passengers holding SAA “083” tickets is today. Thereafter passengers will need to purchase a new ticket on Airlink – 4Z (749).

Holders of tickets for travel on SA8 after March 26, 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 e-mail [email protected] Airlink SA8 flights will no longer feature after March 26, 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.

An Airlink customer care team will be available in the lockdown period during office hours to assist passengers with queries about 4Z bookings on [email protected] The airline is still seeking clarity from the authorities on its ability to operate additional customer and agent telephonic support during the lockdown period.

“On behalf of Airlink, I want to thank our customers, suppliers and service providers for their patience, understanding, support and co-operation during these unprecedented times, in this unfortunate apocalyptic situation that is totally beyond our control,” Forster stated.

South African Airways (SAA) has also announced the suspension of all its domestic flights with effect from tomorrow until April 16, both days inclusive.

During the national lockdown period, SAA’s call centres will be closed and customers will have to direct any enquiries to:

Customer Solutions:

[email protected];

Reservations JNB:

[email protected]

Voyager Service Recovery:

[email protected]

SAA will resume its domestic flights on April 17, 2020.