Skylink Airways: A new SAA successor or a pipe dream

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

A South African entrepreneur has set the aviation world abuzz with reported plans to start a new airline.

Skylink airways intends to become the first operator of Russian made aircraft, Sukhoi Superjet SJ100 in Africa. But the project and its planned model leave more questions than answers and the South African Civil Aviation Authority recently stated to news outlet Fin24 that no company under the name skylink airways had made any formal application for an Air Operators Certificate(AOC)

When asked by Airspace Africa about the status of his AOC application, owner Clarence Andrea Steyn said he is currently in Russia finalizing business and that his legal team will deliver said application on his return

A great deal of professional people internationally support my vision to get this airline started’ he said

The Sukhoi SJ100 can hardly be described as anything but a failure beyond Russia and Eastern Europe with most airlines particularly concerned about a lack of spare parts and adequate customer support. A launch customer on the African continent while probably well incentivized would clearly face similar issues let alone the potential for certification headaches.

Interjet and City Jet(former Sukhoi operators) did not position offices next to Sukhoi to allow on the door step service and efficient support, this is what we are doing in addition to stocking up a maintenance and spare center in Johannesburg and Cape town”

“I have no doubt that things will go smoothly. The plane has European certification and can be exported to any country. Certifying in South Africa will not be a problem,” said Clarence Andrea Steyn

The new airline has been touted as a potential successor to troubled national carrier, South African airways whose route network included domestic, regional and international destinations. The Sukhoi SJ100 is a regional jet that carries less than 100 passengers while the gap left by SAA has been ably filled by the likes of regional powerhouse Airlink which is now one of the success stories on the African continent and the biggest Embraer operator in Africa

I will additionally be using the Embraer E190, Airbus A330-300 and A330-200 for international travel. These aircraft have been sourced and are being prepared shortly. I feel confident that the rollout will happen by September 2022

Furthermore, the entrepreneur is looking to build a people centered and proudly South African airline which will be publicly listed. He plans to make an official announcement at the Maks airshow in Russia in July

As one would imagine during a time when a huge fraction of the aviation workforce is out of work due to the effects of the pandemic on the industry, Skylink Airways is understandably inundated with job applications. Owner Clarence Andrea Steyn says he is determined to give opportunity to a 3000 strong workforce which was cut as a result of SAA’s restructuring.

I am South African and I will be damned to let those 3000 people wither away

All selected airline staff will be trained in Moscow and will be flying on the Sukhois in Russia atleast 3 months before the planes come down to South Africa to be put into service”

Will SA Skylink take-off or is this one entrepreneur’s pipe dream

Hi! Did you know we have a newsletter?👋

Sign up to receive our awesome aviation content in your inbox. Its quick and easy!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Hi! Did you know we have a newsletter?👋

Sign up to receive our awesome aviation content in your inbox. Its quick and easy!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


Write A Comment