South Africa’s Airlink has added several new routes previously served by fellow South African Airways franchisee SA Express. SA Express was grounded by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) on 24 May after an audit revealed “severe cases of non-compliance that pose serious safety risks.” Airlink CEO Rodger Foster indicated that the airline had “mobilized all of our resources — any spare aircraft that we’ve got and all of our spare crew” to help rescue stranded passengers. Airlink added new routes from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit, Bloemfontein, and Richards Bay, and from Cape Town to Hoedspruit, and increased frequencies on the routes from Johannesburg to Gaborone and Kimberley. Several of these routes are operated by the airline’s Avro RJ85s. Airlink currently has seven RJ85s in service. The airline has been gradually drawing down its RJ85 fleet as it takes delivery of Embraer 170s and 190s.
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