South African Airlink’s R640 million fleet of sixteen Jetstream 41 aircraft is now the third biggest Jetstream 41 fleet in the world.
South Africa’s premier feeder airline recently acquired four additional Jetstream 41 aircraft to standardise its fleet and replace the slower - and older - Dornier 228 and LET410 equipment used on some of its routes.
Rodger Foster, CEO of South African Airlink, said the four new additions included two Jetstream 41s purchased from the producer British Aerospace and two “almost new” Jetstreams acquired from an Australian airline.
“The fact that we will now be using only Jetstream 41 aircraft on our scheduled services holds several benefits for South African Airlink and its passengers. In the first place, it will boost our passenger capacity by 22% and drastically cut flying time on routes where older equipment was used. The shorter flying time will particularly be welcomed by business flyers who in many cases will now no longer have to overnight before catching a return flight.
“Fleet standardisation also means spares for only one type of aircraft need be stocked, and specific expertise - in both the cockpit and cabin - has to be built up and banked. The introduction of a dedicated back-up aircraft will also go far in enhancing our punctuality performance,” Foster stated.
“Furthermore, cabin service will for the first time be introduced on routes previously serviced by Dornier and LET equipment.
The addition of the four Jetstreams (of which one will be used in a back-up role) will substantially improve South African Airlink’s scheduled services between Johannesburg and Mmabatho, Pietersburg and Nelspruit which were all previously served by the Dornier 228. The Durban-Nelspruit route will also benefit by the introduction of more efficient equipment. Already routes such as Cape Town-Kimberley and Cape Town-George as well as Johannesburg-Upington have been improved through new Jetstream equipment introduced a few months ago.