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Airlink, also known as SA Airlink, or Airlink Airlines, is a regional and privately owned airline that was founded in 1992 and operates as a franchisee of South African Airways.

SA Airlink has a codesharing agreement with South African Airways and South African Express. Airlink also has a partnership with Swaziland Airlink and provides direct and convenient daily return scheduled flights from Manzini to Johannesburg.

Airlink's origins are rooted in three small airlines: Magnum Airlines, Border Air and City Air, which merged to form Link Airways in the 1980s. Link Airways was liquidated in 1992. In 1997 SA Airlink joined South African Airways and South African Express in a powerful strategic alliance.

Today, Airlink is the largest independent regional airline in southern Africa, linking passengers to more than 30 destinations in Southern Africa. From 2012, Airlink obtained its fourth consecutive IATA Operational Safety Certificate. On May 2017, Airlink was the first airline ever to make a commercial charter flight to Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Baggage Policy

Airlink has a different baggage policy for carry-on and checked baggage policy. Which cabin class you are flying in also affects this.

Carry-on Baggage

Items transported as hand luggage must not exceed 56cm x 34cm x 23cm in size, and no larger than 8kg in weight.

Business Class passengers are permitted 2 pieces of hand luggage.

Economy Class passengers are permitted 1 piece of hand luggage.

Checked Baggage

Generally, the following luggage allowances apply unless otherwise stated:

Passengers travelling in Economy Class are permitted 20kg of checked luggage.

Passengers travelling in Business Class are permitted 30kg of checked luggage.

The size of checked luggage must fit within 90cm x 72cm x 45cm.

Cabin Classes

Airlink's customers can choose between Economy and Business Class for their flights.

Economy Class

Economy Class is the more basic cabin class out of the two that the airline offers.

Economy Class Facilities

Passengers are given the option to order from the airline's in-flight menu. The food options range from light refreshments to hot meals, depending on the route flown. The drinks menu features both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Economy Class Seats

Economy class seats are usually laid out in a 2 x 2 or 3 x 3 formation in a spacious cabin. This allows for more room between each seat.

Business Class

Business Class is perfect for passengers who are looking for a more comfortable and personalised service.

Business Class Facilities

Business Class passengers are given a welcome drink once on board, a hand towel, as well as a freshly prepared meal with great choice, served on a plate with silverware to use as cutlery.

Business Class passengers are also given access to the South African Airways Business Class lounge if flying from O.R Tambo International Airport (JNB).

What are Business Class Seats Like?

Business Class seats are set out in either a 1 x 2, 2 x 2 or 2 x 3 formation. Each seat has a drinks holder and is designed to give generous space with extra width and pitch.

In-flight Entertainment & WIFI

The airline doesn't have any in-flight screen entertainment onboard, however, there is you can stay entertained with Airlink's magazine called the 'Skyways' which offers travel tips, health tips, fun articles to read.

WiFi Connectivity

The airline currently doesn't have any WiFi Connectivity onboard.


Airlink have check in available both online or at the airport.

Online Check-in

Airlink offers passengers online check-in. Check-in opens 24 hours before your departure time and you can check-in online.

Airport Check-in

If passengers do not check-in online, they must visit the Airlink airport check-in desk at the airport.

For domestic flights, airport check-in will open 1.5 hours before scheduled departure, closing 30 minutes before departure.

For international or regional flights, airport check-in will open 2 hours before scheduled departure, closing 50 minutes before departure.

Frequent Flyer Programme

Airlink offers a frequent flyer program called Voyager to reward regular travellers with the airline.

Voyager is South African Airways' Loyalty programme. This program rewards passengers Miles for every time they travel with Airlink. These Miles can be redeemed for free flights, upgrades and other benefits.

Voyager offers five tiers - Blue, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Lifetime Platinum. Each of these tiers provides members with exclusive benefits.

You will receive miles if you frequently fly with any of the following airlines' South African AirwaysSouth African Express Airways. You can get access to more luxury and comfort from the five tiers including Bonus Miles, access to private airport lounges, extra baggage allowance and even a cab service for Platinum and Lifetime Platinum members.

Airline Alliance

By having close connections withSouth African Airlines, its Star Alliance Partner airlines and other international carriers, Airlink can offer its passengers continuous flights to destinations around the world and offer the opportunity to earn voyager miles.

Special Services

Airlink offer services for unaccompanied children to travel, incapacitated persons, pregnant women, infants and persons with illness or other people requiring special assistance all need to make arrangements with the Airline. Special assistance passengers may not be permitted to be seated near an emergency exit.

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Destinations that Airlink flies to

As of August 2020, Airlink flies to 36 destinations in the South African Development Community sub-region. Airlink flies from and to its Hub airport, O.R Tambo International Airport (JNB) including many other destinations. With Airlink, you can fly to many popular safari parks, find out about other airlines that operate safari flights.

Alternatives to Airlink

Please click on the logos below to find out more about airlines that fly similar routes:

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Hub Airport

O.R. Tambo International Airport

O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) is a major international airport in Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa and is the hub airport for South African Airways.

The airport has two runways and can handle nearly 20 million passengers every year. Other airlines which fly to and from O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) include Air BotswanaKululaMango AirlinesAir ChinaAir FranceAir SeychellesEgyptAirEL AlEthiopian AirlinesEtihad AirwaysSouth African AirwaysSingapore Airlines and Saudia.


As of August 2020, Airlink fleet consists of 53 aircraft with 6 on order:

  • 7 BAe Jetstream 41
  • 4 Cessna Grand Caravan EX
  • 17 Embraer ERJ-135
  • 11 Embraer ERJ-140
  • 3 Embraer 140
  • 11 Embraer 190IGW with 6 on more on order.