Independent regional airline, Airlink, has suspended its Polokwane services with immediate effect.
This follows last night’s announcement by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) that the Polokwane airport had been de-categorised to CAT2 which is below the minimum level required for scheduled commercial air services.
The current status of the airport presents as an operational safety concern and it would be illegal to operate scheduled services at the airport. Airlink said in a statement it was regrettable that the airport did not advise the airline of the impending threat of de-categorisation and its inability to provide the minimum level of emergency services required to maintain its aerodrome license category.
“Airlink has explored all options including the possibility of operating at the Pietersburg Civil aerodrome, which also offers no rescue fire-fighting services and therefore is unable to accept scheduled commercial flights,” said a spokesperson for the airline, adding that Airlink management will work with Polokwane airport management to establish when the airport will address its non-compliances and regain the minimum category required to accommodate schedule commercial air services.
Airlink has been unable to ascertain whether the airport will meet the minimum requirements for future services. Customers will be contacted directly, and an update will be provided as soon as it receives more information from the Polokwane airport.
“We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused by the suspension of this service. Customers holding confirmed tickets on the cancelled flights should contact their booking agent, tour operator or Airlink Reservations and for refunds email 4Zonlinerefunds@flyairlink.com” said Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.