Introducing Airlink: South Africa’s Largest Airline

Introducing Airlink: South Africa’s Largest Airline

Despite operating aircraft with no more than 98 seats, Airlink is South Africa’s largest airline by fleet and flights. It is also the third-largest carrier in Africa, with more flights in February than Royal Air Maroc and Kenya Airways. Airlink has benefited from its independence from South African Airways (SAA) while launching multiple new routes due to the decline of its former franchisor. About 80% of Airlink’s flights are from Johannesburg. Photo: Airlink. Introducing Airlink

South Africa’s regional operator Airlink became an independent carrier in late 2020 after the long franchise relationship with SAA ended. Airlink has over 5,200 flights in February, according to the latest information from Cirium. While over six in ten flights are domestic and will always be its bread and butter, its growing regional network is critical, including for interlining .

Airlink is now South Africa’s largest airline if measured in flights and fleet. According to , it has the country’s largest fleet – currently 53, plus four Cessna Caravans for Lodge Link.

Although not all aircraft are active, it has six types comprising 17 Embraer 135s; 16 Embraer 190s (98 seats); 11 Embraer 140s; six Jetstream 41s; and three Embraer 170s. Its fleet is diverse and complex, but it suggests the degree to which it attempts to right-size (where infrastructure allows), its disparate network, and different sources of revenue.

Show entries Airlink (excluding its Cessna flights) 5,068 291,938 170,646,936 36% Safair 2,104 383,832 215,080,872 15% Comair 1,642 262,029 162,845,431 12% Kulula 1,072 199,248 126,751,968 8% Cemair 1,032 54,446 28,567,844 7% South African 320 45,024 61,759,944 2% LIFT 208 34,944 27,570,816 1% Showing 1 to 7 of 7 entries

Previous Next 37 routes in February

Airlink’s 37 routes in February (excluding those by its Cessnas) revolve around thick or reasonably thick airport-pairs. Johannesburg is utterly crucial with eight in ten flights, as vividly shown in the map and the list of most-served routes.

> Johannesburg (JNB) to Nelspruit (Kruger; MQP): 266 round-trip flights in February

JNB to Cape Town (CPT): 264

JNB to Port Elizabeth (PLZ): 200

JNB to Pietermaritzburg (PZB): 192 CPT to George (GRJ): 160 JNB to Durban (DUR) 152 JNB to East London (ELS) 152 JNB to Gaborone (GBE) 152 JNB to Harare (HRE) 152 JNB to Lusaka (LUN) 152 JNB to Mthatha (UTT) 152 JNB to Windhoek (WDH) 152 Surprisingly, Johannesburg to Cape Town isn’t Airlink’s top route by flights. It ranks only […]

Stay in the Know!

Sign up for the latest news and information on African Companies and Economy.

By signing up, you agree to receive MoneyInAfrica offers, promotions and other commercial messages. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Reply