Airlink moots increased flight frequency

By Hilary Mare

SOUTH African private-sector domestic and regional airline Airlink which will launch direct flights between Johannesburg and Windhoek on October 26 has said that despite starting with a single daily flight the airline will look to increase the frequency of flights in the coming months.
The introduction of these flights comes subsequent to air travel between the two countries was halted owing to lockdowns that were intended to counter the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We can’t wait to re-establish this important connection between South Africa’s and Namibia’s main economic hubs and enable all-important trade, business and tourism between what are two very closely connected markets,” highlighted Airlink CEO Rodger Foster.
Confidente understands that initially, the restored service will be operated by Airlink’s flagship aircraft, the Embraer E190 airliner. However, the planned later additional flights, at lower demand times of the day (early morning and evening), will likely be operated by the airline’s smaller Embraer ERJ135 regional airliners.
On the E190 economy class passengers have a free check-in luggage allowance of 20kg with an additional 15kg allowance for sporting equipment. The check-in luggage allowance for business class is 30kg.
The Johannesburg-Windhoek service will provide seamless connections with Airlink’s services from Johannesburg to Cape Town and Johannesburg to Durban. It will also allow connections with the airline’s other South African destinations, such as Bloemfontein, East London, George, Hoedspruit, Kimberley, Mthatha, Nelspruit, Pietermaritzburg, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Skukuza and Upington.
Passengers must comply with Namibian and South African bio security regulations.
“The maintenance of the health and security of both its passengers and personnel is a high priority,” Foster further noted.
The restoration of the Johannesburg-Windhoek route is the latest step in the airline’s re-establishment of air connectivity throughout Southern Africa.
Last week, the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) also announced that Namibia’s private airline FlyWestair will make history next month, when they will become the first privately-owned Namibian airline to operate a scheduled passenger route between Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport. FlyWestair schedule will start on November 3 with two flights per week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, designed to connect with various international airlines through Johannesburg.
Airlink on October 14 recommenced their Johannesburg to Walvis Bay International Airport route with aplomb and they serve the route on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The Windhoek-Cape Town route resumed October 12 and will be on served on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“These resumptions of routes are key and encouraging for airport operations. We are getting back to normal operations which can only bode well for revenue as we continue to facilitate economic recovery for your country. It has been slow but we have been confident that ready for the numbers to pick up as we adapt to the new normal during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said NAC Chief Executive Officer Bisey /Uirab.