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The two airlines announced yesterday that they would apply to South Africa’s Competition Commission for approval to unite under the common umbrella of the Airlink group of companies.
The proposal would see Airlink and low-cost FlySafair airlines, and Safair’s other businesses, including humanitarian aid flights, continue to operate separately under their unique brands.
The airlines would retain their respective products, aircraft fleets, management and leadership teams. No job losses due to consolidation would occur, they confirm in a joint statement.
Says Sue Garrett, Flight Centre Travel Group General Manager Product and Marketing: “We believe the merging of Airlink and Safair would be a positive move. The business models of each airline are completely different, as are the routes they service, so through this merger both carriers could look at opportunities to reduce costs in areas that would make commercial sense to share.
Garrett points to an “interesting” model achieved by the airline merger, one that is not dissimilar to that currently enjoyed by BA Comair and kulula.com.
The combined networks of Airlink and Safair extend to 37 destinations in nine Southern African and Indian Ocean countries, as well as St. Helena.
According to the airlines, more details will be provided when the Competition Commission has made its determination, which they anticipate will happen during Q1 2018.