Airlink (South Africa), South African Airways, and Mango Airlines have announced they have collectively stepped in to cover the capacity and network coverage gap left following the indefinite grounding of South African Express (XZ, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) last week.

“Through our collaborative efforts with partner airlines (SAA, SA Airlink and Mango Airlines), we are able to announce a schedule intended to ensure business continuity and provide travel certainty. We are confident that the capacity we have deployed will sustain the network operated by SA Express until it is reinstated into service by the regulator,” SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali said in a statement.

For the period running May 28 through to June 24, the carriers will cover the following SA Express routes out of Johannesburg O.R. Tambo: Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Richards Bay, Hoedspruit, George, East London, Gaborone (Botswana), and Walvis Bay (Namibia). From Cape Town: Hoedspruit, Bloemfontein, and Walvis Bay (Namibia).

Service between Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo) is still awaiting regulatory approval.

Routes from Johannesburg that will not be covered include Sun City and Mmabatho while those from Cape Town include Sun City and East London.

For its part, CemAir (5Z, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) has now started flights between Cape Town and Hoedspruit as of Friday 25 while from May 28, it will start daily flights from Johannesburg to each of Kimberly and Richards Bay. It has also added another daily flight to its Johannesburg-Bloemfontein service.