By: Kaya FM News
Airlink has confirmed that it is suspending flights to Polokwane due to non-compliance.
Yesterday, Airlink said the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) advised that the Polokwane airport had been de-categorized to CAT2 – with immediate effect – which is below the minimum level required for scheduled commercial air services.
In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, Airlink said 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-categorisation and its inability to provide the minimum level of emergency services required to maintain its aerodrome license category,” Airlink said.
Airlink said that it had 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 said that its 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 scheduled commercial air services.
“In the circumstances, unfortunately and most regrettably, Airlink has had to cancel its services. 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,” Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster, said.
“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 4Zonlinerefunds@flyairlink.com,” he added.
Last month, Airlink announced that it will begin flights to its Maputo, Mozambique and Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, schedules from April 1 in response to the rising demand for air travel between those cities and South Africa.
At the time, Foster said since launching services linking Johannesburg with Maputo and with Lubumbashi last October and November respectively, the privately-owned airline has seen a steady increase in passenger traffic on those two routes.
“This reflects an uptick in trade and economic activity between South Africa, Mozambique and the D.R Congo. By increasing our schedule on these routes we will cater to the increased demand while providing more choices to customers wanting to travel to destinations across South Africa and throughout Southern Africa,” he said.
The additional services will let travelers connect seamlessly with Airlink’s flights linking Johannesburg with Cape Town, Durban and other important business and tourist destinations within South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
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.
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