Airlink’s city to bush-lodge network now on sale!
Airlink’s “Lodge Link System” service, which will provide direct connectivity beyond the Skukuza and Nelspruit/Kruger airports to five of the most popular game lodge destinations in South Africa, is now available for sale in the Global Distribution System (GDS), on-line, as well as via travel agent and tour operator’s Computerized Reservations Systems. (CRS)
The Lodge Link System will initially connect the safari lodge airstrips located at Arathusa, Londolozi, Sabi Sabi, Singita and Ulusaba with Airlink’s multiple daily scheduled services operating into Skukuza and Nelspruit/Kruger (KMIA) airports.
In conjunction with its franchise partner South African Airways, Airlink’s Lodge Link System flights are now available for purchase worldwide in a single ticket transaction, hosted in the global booking platforms. This will provide the opportunity for enhanced seamless connectivity directly to and from lodges allowing multi carrier, multi sector itineraries to be constructed such as: London to Londolozi; Seattle to Singita; Singapore to Sabi Sabi; Ubatuba to Ulusaba; Athens to Arethusa, to name but a few.
Additionally, the combination of the new Lodge Link System service with Airlink’s regional and domestic flights, which operate between key leisure destinations such as: Cape Town and KMIA, Cape Town and Skukuza, Durban and KMIA, Johannesburg and Skukuza, Johannesburg and KMIA, Johannesburg and Maun, Johannesburg and Kasane, Johannesburg and Vilanculos, KMIA and Livingstone as well as Nelspruit and Vilanculos, will provide travellers to South Africa with unparalleled flexibility and choice when planning their journey’s on that Safari trip of a lifetime.
The new Lodge Link System will serve to complement Airlink’s already established and increasingly popular Cape Town and Johannesburg to Skukuza services. Since the re-opening of Skukuza airport on 2 June 2014, more than 33,000 travellers passed through its doors entrenching Skukuza as a key access point to the world-renowned Kruger National Park Eco leisure destination, and the exclusive Lodges in nearby private game reserves such as Sabi Sand and Timbavati.
Airlink’s Lodge Link System service has been implemented in a number of stages in line with anticipated market demand.
Services between Londolozi and Skukuza; Sabi Sabi and KMIA; together with a connection between Skukuza and Nelspruit airports with onward connections to Livingstone/Zambia as well as Vilanculos/Mozambique will commence operating on 1 July 2015.
Services between Ulusaba and Skukuza and Ulusaba and KMIA will commence on 1 August 2015. Ulusaba is an important air-strip as it provides access to a number of lodges in the area; Ulusaba’s Rock, Cliff and Safari lodges, & Beyond’s Exeter River and Leadwood lodges, Inyati Game Lodge, Leopard Hills, Savanna and Dulini.
As regards Arathusa and Singita, it is planned that services to these lodges will commence in September 2015. Arathusa is an important node in the north eastern portion of the Sabi Sand reserve and will provide access to the neighboring lodges such as Chitwa Chitwa, Cheetah Plains, Elephant Plains, Simbambili, Nkorho and Djuma Vuyatela
“Airlink is extremely proud to introduce its Lodge Link System service and to have the opportunity to build on the experience gained in re-establishing the Skukuza Airport last year. Skukuza has increased in popularity as a key access point to Southern Africa’s eco-leisure destinations. Seamless direct services ensure that travellers are able to maximize their time in the bush with minimum time spent in airport transits”, said Airlink CEO and Managing director Rodger Foster. He emphasized that the inclusion of KMIA as the significant node in the Lodge Link System network is paramount – “KMIA is an international airport where Airlink offers seven daily flights from JNB as well as daily flights from CPT and DUR and provides additional access to over-border destinations in Zambia and Mozambique. The Lodge Link System enjoys excellent global connectivity at KMIA given frequency and timing of flights and KMIA presents excellent potential for the Lodge Link System to grow”, he added. “Tourism is a key driver of the South African economy and Airlink feels privileged to play a role in developing this to the benefit of all stakeholders”.