AirLink (south africa) Today announced, that t has reached agreement with South African Airways to reissue any tickets sold to passengers by South Africa Airways for flights beyond December 6 2019. These new tickets will be issued under the banner of AirLink, not as SAA tickets.
Airlink will reissue all tickets under its own stock, using the 749 flight ticket code, although it warned passengers that the process may take some time. The timing of the reissue, estimated to last for “the next few weeks”, will depend on the transfer of ticket revenue from SAA to Airlink. Following the reissue of tickets, passengers will be able to rebook their flights affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, AirLink won’t start the process until SAA has transferred the ticket revenue the carrier made on the tickets to AirLink back last year. Once the money is in the bank account, then AirLink will honor the tickets.
“The re-accommodation agreement will allow the transfer of the ticket sale revenue together with liability for service delivery to Airlink. Therefore until the re-accommodations have been affected, Airlink cannot arrange re-bookings as the ticket sale revenue is in SAA’s possession.”
Why did SAA have the ticket revenue?
South Africa Airways originally sold tickets to passengers to travel onboard AirLink flights, who operated a series of regional routes as a franchisee of SAA. Alas, AirLink discovered in November 2019 that SAA had used the revenue from the ticket sales as its working capital and not transferred the revenue AirLink as agreed. South Africa Airways is currently undergoing financial hardship and may have been a reason why the ticket sales did not transfer to AirLink.
AirLink paused the tickets (disrupting travel) and then followed through with a legal motion to recover the money from SAA. The matter went to the High Court in Johannesburg, who sided with SAA. AirLink has appealed to the courts’ decision; however, the matter is still ongoing.
Since then, two additional items have occured:
- AirLink has agreed with SAA to honor the tickets if the revenue transfers to them.
- AirLink has also decided to end its franchise agreement on June 10, 2020, and will then operate with its aircraft as a separate entity. It is unknown if this means a new name or livery.