December 2, 2017: SA Airlink and Safair have informed that the two companies are planning a merger in which Airlink will acquire Safair. The two companies are filing an application at the Competition Commission for approval to merge under the common umbrella of the Airlink group of companies, they said in a joint statement.

Safair operates a passenger and cargo service and has a large share of humanitarian relief market in Africa. In 2013, it launched the low-cost carrier FlySafair to compete with players like Mango Airlines. Airlink is the largest independent regional airline in Southern Africa and operates a feeder network linking smaller towns and regional centres in SA in a strategic alliance with SAA.

The merging entities say they intend operating Airlink and FlySafair airlines and Safair's other businesses separately under their own brands, retaining their respective products, fleets and management. Neither entity envisages any job losses as a result of the merger.

"It presents opportunities to reduce our combined costs, position ourselves for growth while at the same time increasing connectivity and choice while making air travel accessible and affordable for our customers across Southern Africa," Rodger Foster, CEO, Airlink said.

Safair CEO Elmar Conradie, who would retain his role, said the merger would create economies of scale through cost sharing and optimising assets.

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