Durban – Private national airline company, Airlink introduced domestic flights between Durban and Johannesburg early October this year. This was after the aviation industry had been affected by the lockdown regulations that were introduced by national government under the state of disaster declared under Section 27(1) and Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act on 15 March 2020.
Regulations introduced in the early stages of the nationwide lockdown prevented travelling between provinces and between countries and South Africa. This brought the aviation industry to a stand still and has affected the economic capacity of the industry.
“Our main goal as government is to ensure that we provide the business community with the necessary support for them to function optimally”
Dube TradePort CEO and co-chair of Durban Direct, Mr. Hamish Erskine, said “We welcome Airlink’s decision to commence scheduled services between Joburg and Durban, with the majority of the traffic on the route being business travel, we are confident that the airline has introduced the right aircraft to sustainably grow its presence on this route as we all begin to work to assure the public that it is once again safe to travel”.
KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who has been hard at work since the easing of the lockdown regulations shared the provincial government’s perspective on reigniting the tourism sector. MEC Dube-Ncube asserted that “Our main goal as government is to ensure that we provide the business community with the necessary support for them to function optimally, this new air service by Airlink helps us grow KwaZulu-Natal’s air connectivity capacity, which will benefit both business and leisure travel to the province as we work to propel our economy.”
MEC Dube-Ncube’s sentiments were also shared and supported by Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda who welcomed this development. “The tourism sector is a key contributor to the City’s economy and the aviation industry is the indispensable for tourism to boom. As our country has graduated to level one of lockdown, we are pulling all the stops to re-ignite tourism and in order to create much needed economic activities, not only in the city but in the townships said Kaunda. The Mayor was confident that the good news were a clear demonstration that the government is doing things right
Terence Delomoney, General manager of King Shaka International Airport said, “We have been greatly encouraged by the reintroduction of Airlink to the region. We want to emphasise that continuing to maintain a safe airport environment is our key priority and we will continue to build confidence and trust amongst our travelling public.”
“The tourism sector is a key contributor to the City’s economy and the aviation industry is the indispensable for tourism to boom”
Airlink flight tickets include free 20kg checked-in baggage, 30kg for business class and 15kg sporting equipment allowance, and a complementary inflight service.