Airlink Further Boosts E-Jet Fleet
South African regional carrier Airlink has taken delivery of two more Embraer 190s from lessor Falko Regional Aircraft, as it seeks to further expand its network in Southern Africa.
Falko re-delivered the previously used aircraft to Airlink following a spell with their previous lessee, Brazil’s Azul.
“These Embraer E190 aircraft will augment our well-established fleet of Embraer Regional Jet airliners and facilitate organic growth within our network,” Airlink CEO and MD, Rodger Foster said. “The Embraer E190 perfectly presents the right-size capacity fit to market demands on most of Airlink’s routes.”
The new aircraft will “be used across the network, which is changing,” he said.
For example, Airlink has just begun operating from Johannesburg to the Malawian destinations of Lilongwe and Blantyre: “We are adding capacity that is commensurate with the demand in the market. Currently, demand in our market is still about 20% below 2019 levels.”
Airlink operates a fleet of 35 E-Jets (three E170s, 28 E190s and four E195s). plus 27 Embraer ERJs (16 ERJ135 and 11 ERJ140). A single Boeing 737-300 is also operated under a short-term wet lease from Star Air Cargo.
Airlink is Southern Africa’s largest privately owned, regional airline, which serves 48 destinations throughout Southern Africa, Madagascar, and St Helena Island.
The airline has become increasingly significant in Southern Africa in recent years, following the demise of airlines such as SA Express and Comair, while South African Airways is a shadow of its former size.