Airlink (South Africa) (4Z, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) will re-start its air shuttle service from July 1, 2021, to game lodges in the Sabi Sand Reserve adjacent to the Kruger National Park and in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

Served directly from Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and Cape Town International, the Lodge Link will operate from Skukuza and Mbombela to three airstrips located at Arathusa and Londolozi in the Sabi sands region, and Phinda Private Game Reserve in KZN. The lodge network will also provide direct connections with Airlink’s regional service between Nelspruit and Livingstone, on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls.

Airlink in a statement said the Arathusa airstrip provides access to neighbouring lodges such as Chitwa Chitwa, Cheetah Plains, Elephant Plains, Simbambili, Nkortho, Djuma, Jaci’s Sabi House, and Silvan Safaris.

The Phinda airstrip in KZN connects to a number of lodges such as Thanda Private Game Reserve and Rhino Ridge.

Airlink operates its Lodge Link with three 12-seater twin pilot Cessna (single turboprop) 208B Caravans: ZS-MLT (msn 208B-5155), ZS-MLR (msn 208B-5147), and ZS-MLW (msn 208B-5160), the airline confirmed.

Schedules will see morning departures from Arathusa via Londolozi and Skukuza to Nelspruit, returning in the afternoons. Flights from Phinda will leave in the mornings directly to Nelspruit, returning in the afternoons to Phinda.

In light of international COVID-19 restrictions, the service catered for an increasing number of local and regional travellers looking for mini-safari getaways, commented Airlink Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.