South African domestic and regional airline, Airlink, will suspend all operations after midnight on Thursday, March26 until April 20, in support of the national lockdown.

Airlink had already planned to operate independently using its own flight code ‘4Z’ from June 11 but this will now be brought forward to April 20.

March 26 is the last date for the acceptance for travel on Airlink SA8 flights for passengers holding SAA ‘083’ tickets.

Ticket holders for travel on SA8 after March with a ticket number commencing with the digits ‘083’ should contact SAA for a refund as SAA holds the funds paid in advance for these bookings on behalf of customers.

Airlink has requested SAA to suspend the interline agreement that was implemented to facilitate the re-accommodation of current SAA bookings issued in conjunction with Airlink’s SA8 flights, which were to have been re-accommodated on to Airlink’s 4Z flights.

Airlink MD and CEO, Rodger Foster, said it was their responsibility and civic duty to support and comply with the new, stringent measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on March23.

“We intend to gradually reinstate a new optimised schedule of services once the lockdown has been lifted. Whilst the restrictions are currently intended to last for 21 days, we will take our cue from the Government and the relevant health authorities,” said Foster.

“Our target date for recommencing operations will be April 20 and we will continue to keep our customers, travel agents and operators informed should unforeseen circumstances necessitate a change to this date.”

The airline’s customer care team will be available during the national lockdown period during office hours to assist passengers with queries about 4Z bookings.