The Commission has rejected a proposed merger between SA Airlink and Safair on the grounds that it would upset a healthy competitive market and because it would entail Safair being inserted into an existing code-sharing agreement between SA Airlink and SAA.

The Commission’s Head of Communications, Sipho Ngwema, explained that “SA Airlink currently operates under agreements with South African Airways. In the event that the merger was to be approved, SA Airlink would have the ability to adapt the business strategy of Safair such that Safair is incorporated into the agreement between South African Airways and SA Airlink.”

Ngwema said that, currently there is a significant price differential between SA Airlink and Safair. If the merger went ahead then most likely prices would increase to the detriment of passengers and freight customers.

Both SA Airlink and Safair have expressed their disappointment and said they will appeal the decision.