Safair and Airlink plan to unite

Dublin-based aircraft owner ASL Aviation Holdings is seeking approval from the South African Competition Commission to unite its Safair subsidiary with South Africa’s Airlink.
The deal will see ASL take a minority shareholder within the merged Airlink group of companies and the Airlink and Safair brands will continue to operate separately, with their respective fleets, products and management teams.
There will be no job losses at either carrier, said ASL.
Safair’s humanitarian operations for the United Nations and International Red Cross will also continue with its fleet of civilian Hercules and B737 Combi aircraft. It also operates a low-cost passenger airline.
Airlink is primarily known for its passenger operation but does also offer cargo services to more than 37 destinations across southern Africa.
ASL Aviation Holdings chief executive, Hugh Flynn said: “It brings two financially stable airlines together in a partnership that will bring sustainable competition, service and innovation to the South African market, creating jobs and economic growth as it does so.”
Airlink Group of Companies chief executive and managing director, Rodger Foster, added: “Our operations and route networks are entirely complementary, which means that there’s no overlap to erode economies of scale. The resulting reduction in our operating costs … will undoubtedly benefit the flying public and communities and business in the destinations we serve.”
On 23 November, ASL announced the sale of its Budapest-based handling business to airport services firm Menzies Aviation for an undisclosed sum to concentrate on core activities.
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