SA Airlink is expected to launch direct flights to Skukuza Airport in the Kruger National Park from March 2014.

Rodger Foster, SA Airlink’s CEO, said: “In terms of the arrangement, Airlink will provide daily scheduled airline services linking Skukuza with Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, and via these hubs and our partnership with South African Airways, together with it’s Star Alliance carrier’s global networks, to the rest of the world. Lion Sands will provide hospitality and retail services at the Skukuza airport and Federal Air will supply feeder and charter services carrying passengers between Skukuza and the game lodges in the region. Federal will also provide links from Skukuza to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport to feed our onward flights to Livingstone in Zambia and Vilanculos in Mozambique.”

SA Airlink plans initially to offer daily flights from Cape Town and a twice-daily service from Johannesburg with flights from King Shaka International to follow. The flying time from  Cape Town directly to Skukuza will be 2.5 hours and from Johannesburg directly to Skukuza 50 minutes. The Embraer 135 regional jet and Avro RJ85 regional jet aircraft will be used for these routes. Exact configurations will be advised nearer the time.

This will certainly have a positive impact on your client’s safari experience as they will have direct access to the lodges without paying the current private charter rates. NB: SA Airlink is part of South African Airways.