Doha’s Qatar Airways and Johannesburg-based Airlink have signed a codeshare agreement to boost services across Southern Africa.  

The agreement will offer passengers more choices, enhanced services and greater connectivity between 45 destinations in 13 countries across southern Africa and the rest of the world, Qatar Airways said in a statement. 

“This new codeshare agreement means travelers can enjoy the simplicity of purchasing connecting flights on both airlines using a single reservation with seamless ticketing, check-in, boarding and baggage-check experience, during the entire journey,” the statement continued.  

The agreement will allow customers to book flights from Southern Africa to destinations in North America, Europe and Asia. Passengers will also be able to travel to US destinations, such as New York and Dallas, European cities, such as London, Copenhagen, Barcelona, and points across Asia like Manila, Jakarta and Cebu. 

Qatar Airways to increase footprint in Southern Africa 

The agreement will also see the airline offering “improved access” to destinations such as Ggeberha (Port Elizabeth) Hoedspruit, Skukuza, George in South Africa and beyond to Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.  

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar al Baker said: “Expanding our network with Airlink gives our customers more choice of destinations and flights, that we hope will contribute to the rapid recovery of travel, which plays such an important role in southern African economies.”  

“We have boosted our presence in the African market by adding eight new destinations since the start of the pandemic and fostering partnerships such as this dynamic agreement with Airlink which will greatly enhance our offering to our customers and support travel and trade,” Al Baker added. 

Qatar Airways was the only airline to launch new services in Southern Africa after the pandemic, starting operations to Luanda, Harare and Lusaka in 2021, the airline said.  

The gulf carrier will be resuming operations to Windhoek, Namibia in June 2022, providing additional connection to Airlink’s Southern Africa network via eight gateways in the region. 

Qatar Airways currently offers 21 direct weekly flights from Doha to Johannesburg, 10 weekly flights to Cape Town and four weekly flights to Durban.  

Airlink: expanding its network through global partnerships 

Airlink is exiting the pandemic with a wider network accommodating hundreds of destinations. The South African regional carrier has achieved this by garnering several codeshare partnerships and interline agreements with the likes of Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Qatar Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Delta, United, Lufthansa Airlines, LAM Mozambique Airlines and TAAG Angola Airlines, redefining its former image as an affiliate of South African Airways. 

“This development is an endorsement of Airlink’s relevance to providing air access to the entire region through our expansive network of destinations, which when considered in conjunction with Qatar Airways’ global reach creates unparalleled connectivity opportunities. As southern Africa’s leading airline, Airlink provides comprehensive, safe, and reliable air transportation services, enabling socio-economic development by connecting people with each other and facilitating trade within the region and beyond,” Airlink chief executive, Rodger Foster said in the statement published by Qatar Airways. 

The new codeshare flights will be available from July 6, 2022, subject to government approval. 

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