South African regional airline Airlink has entered a codeshare agreement with major Middle East-based international airline Qatar Airways, it was announced on Monday. This will allow the customers of both airlines to book connecting flights with a single reservation, so opening Qatar’s global network to Airlink passengers, and Airlink’s extensive South and Southern Africa network to Qatar passengers.
Customers can now buy tickets under the new codeshare agreement. Actual operation of the codesharing will, subject to government authorisation, start on July 6.
“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,” highlighted Airlink CE Rodger Foster. “As Southern Africa’s leading airline, Airlink provides comprehensive, safe, and reliable air transportation services, enabling socioeconomic development by connecting people with each other and facilitating trade within the region and beyond.”
“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,” affirmed Qatar Airways Group CE Akbar al Baker. “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.”
Currently, Qatar provides direct flights between Doha and Johannesburg 21 times a week, and between Doha and Cape Town ten times a week. From Doha, the airline serves destinations across six continents. When it resumes its services to Windhoek, in Namibia, in the near future, it will have a third direct contact point with Airlink’s network. Qatar was the only airline that launched new services to Southern Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic, last year adding Harare in Zimbabwe, Luanda in Angola and Lusaka in Zambia to its network.