SOUTH AFRICA – Privately-owned airline Airlink and Emirates have agreed to expand their existing partnership into a unilateral codeshare agreement across Airlink’s network of more than 40 domestic and regional destinations across 12 African countries.

The extended codeshare provides connectivity to Airlink and Emirates customers not offered by any other carrier in Africa and augments the long-standing partnership that Emirates has with South African Airways.

The move comes as Emirates resumes its flights to South Africa and ramps up its operations to provide customers with enhanced connectivity via its gateways Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Emirates customers traveling to South Africa can now transfer from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban to domestic points like Bloemfontein, George, Upington, Nelspruit, Hoedspruit, Kimberley, Skukuza, Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay, Sishen, Mthatha and Port Elizabeth, as well as points across Southern Africa like Gaborone, Kasane, Vilanculos, Lubumbashi, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Maseru, Antananarivo, Pemba, Tete, Maun, Victoria Falls, Walvis Bay, Maputo, Windhoek, Harare, Lusaka, Ndola, Bulawayo and Livingstone amongst many other cities.

“This exciting development is an overwhelming endorsement to Airlink. Emirates serves all of our source markets and together we are able to provide vital air access throughout Airlink’s comprehensive network of destinations within Southern Africa and provide much-needed connectivity, linking Africa with the world and the world with Africa,” said Airlink CEO and managing director, Rodger Foster.

“The tourism and air transportation sectors have been hardest hit by the pandemic and the associated lockdowns and travel bans, and as the world gets vaccinated, we expect the pent-up travel demand will be realized, and more customers will want to visit the special destinations that Airlink offers services to,” he added.

On his part, Emirates’ chief commercial officer, Adnan Kazim said: “We are committed to growing our operations in South Africa, and with the strong connection opportunities being provided collectively with Airlink we hope to help jumpstart the recovery of the local travel and tourism industry.”

At the same time, he said Emirates was eager to restart its codeshare with South African Airways (SAA) once the state-owned flag carrier starts operations again.

“Our codeshare partnership with Airlink complements the valuable relationship Emirates has with South African Airways, which we eagerly anticipate restarting once the airline is back in operation,” he added.

Emirates has boosted its operations into South Africa as it also continues to expand its presence in South and Southern Africa through building strong relationships with airline partners like Airlink and is driving more connectivity options.

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