Airlink, Africa’s largest privately-owned airline, will operate under its own “4Z” flight code on services operated with effect from 11 June 2020. This decision represents an important milestone in extending the commercial reach of the airline in its own right.
Selling seats on flights under the “4Z” flight code will enable Airlink to develop more routes and frequencies on an independent basis, as well as extend opportunities to establish new agreements with leading international airlines.
Airlink and South African Airways have redefined their partnership by replacing their franchise agreement with a new commercial arrangement from 11 June 2020.
Where in terms of the franchise, flights operated by Airlink carry the “SA8” flight designator, under the new commercial arrangement, they will operate as Airlink’s unique “4Z” code. The new agreement will enable a seamless transition with minimum inconvenience to customers.
The change marks a new era in the long-standing commercial agreement with SAA. While SAA remains an important strategic pillar in Airlink’s strategy, the new arrangement gives Airlink the freedom to extend its commercial reach, develop more routes and frequencies on an independent basis and extend or establish additional agreements with other leading international airlines.
“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. At the same time, we will be able to strengthen our vital partnership with SAA,” said Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.
“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,” added Mr. Foster.
“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.