Airlink (South Africa) (4Z, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) has deployed its first E195 on a domestic route between Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and George, a spokesman for the airline confirmed to ch-aviation.

The ERJ 190-200LR, ZS-YDA (msn 19000765), entered service on October 4, flying 3x daily to George, gateway to the touristy Garden Route on the Western Cape coast. The aircraft is being leased from Nordic Aviation Capital, with two more of the type from the same lessor to be deployed later this month. ZS-YDA (formerly OY-YEG) was ferried from Hurghada via Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta to Johannesburg in July, according to Flightradar24 ADS-B data.

Airlink has applied for certification of an increased thrust rating on the E195's two General Electric CF34-10E5 engines, bringing them from E5 to E6 specification to optimise the aircraft for the hot-and-high operating conditions at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport. "The certification upgrade should coincide with the deployment of the other two E195s later this month, on routes between Johannesburg and Cape Town, and possibly Johannesburg and Harare International," the spokesman said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the details of the other two E195s are as follows:

  • OY-YEH (msn 19000766) ferried on August 10 from Egypt via Kenya and in maintenance at Johannesburg since September 1;
  • OY-YEI (msn 19000772) on September 12 from Egypt via Kenya to Johannesburg, where it has been stored since.