Airlink to launch Skukuza service

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Airlink is set to launch direct flights to Skukuza Airport in the Kruger National Park, commencing March 2014. This will see the re-establishment of scheduled air services to one of the South Africa’s most visited tourist attractions, following the closure of its airport to airline traffic over a decade ago.

Airlink, together with its partners Lion Sands and Federal Air, established the Skukuza Airport Management Company which has entered into a public-private partnership with SANParks. The partnership will oversee the refurbishment and enhancement of Skukuza Airport’s runway and terminal building facilities to the international standards required to handle airline traffic. Air navigational procedures for the airport will also be re-designed so as to minimise impact on the environment.

Airlink CEO Rodger Foster said that: “Airlink will provide daily scheduled airline services linking Skukuza with Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, and via these hubs and our partnership with SAA, together with its Star Alliance global network, with the rest of the world. Lion Sands will provide hospitality and retail services at Skukuza Airport and Federal Air will supply feeder and charter services carrying passengers between Skukuza and the game lodges in the region. Federal Air will also provide links from Skukuza to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport to feed our onward flights to Livingstone in Zambia and Vilanculos in Mozambique”.

Construction work to rehabilitate the runway and refurbish the terminal building will start in September.

Airlink plans initially to offer daily flights from Cape Town and a twice-daily service from Johannesburg, with flights from King Shaka International to follow.

Flight schedules and fares will be circulated to the travel trade, and flight seat inventory will be displayed and will be bookable via agent Global Distribution Systems and flysaa.com from September 2013.