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Airlink and Safair set to merge in consolidation drive

Posted 27 November 2017 · Add Comment

Two independent South African airlines Airlink and Safair, are to apply to South Africa's Competition Commission for approval to unite under the common umbrella of the Airlink group of companies.

The proposal, expected to be submitted tomorrow, sees the Airlink and low-cost FlySafair airlines and Safair’s other businesses, including humanitarian aid flights, continuing to operate separately under their unique brands.
The airlines will retain their respective products, aircraft fleets, management and leadership teams. Employees will be secure with no job losses because of the consolidation, a statement from the company said.
“Airlink’s acquisition of Safair, which is financially robust and profitable, makes good business sense. It presents opportunities to reduce our combined costs, position ourselves for growth while at the same time increasing connectivity and choice while making air travel accessible and affordable for our customers across Southern Africa,” said Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.
“Our combined networks will enable us to connect 37 destinations in nine Southern African & Indian Ocean countries and St. Helena. This will stimulate and enable trade, tourism, economic growth and social development in those markets we serve,” added Foster
“Coming under a single umbrella will create economies of scale that will enable both airlines to share costs, optimise assets and remove systems duplications. This will position the new Airlink Group for future growth,” said Elmar Conradie, who will remain as Safair CEO.
In addition, the proposed new ownership structure will see Airlink continue to meet - and in future exceed - South Africa’s Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment targets.
A decision from the commission is expected early next year .

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