South Africa-Qatar-Aviation

S/Africa’s Airlink inks cooperation deal with Qatar Airways

APA-Johannesburg (South Africa)

South Africa’s Airlink has signed a deal with Middle East airline Qatar Airways that will offer travellers more choice and improved connectivity between 45 destinations in 12 countries across southern Africa.

Airlink chief executive Rodger Foster said the partnership would enable its customers to book attractive offers from southern Africa to popular destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia, while Qatar Airways patrons would have access to routes serviced by the South African airline. 

“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,” Foster said.

He added: "It (the deal) gives access to all of those that originate their trips from points within our network – through our main hubs of Johannesburg and Cape Town International – and then connecting on to destinations that Doha reaches through Qatar Airways.”

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

Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said the agreement was expected to increase Qatar Airways’ footprint in southern Africa, with improved access to other South African cities such as Port Elizabeth, Skukuza and George as well as neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Travellers will be able to purchase connecting flights on both airlines using one reservation.

According to aviation reports, there was little expectation that Kulula airline (another local smaller carrier) and British Airways flights would return to the skies after Comair, which accounted for 40% of the country's domestic flights, was placed under provisional liquidation earlier this month.

Following this development at Comair, many customers were left stranded after the troubled carrier made the late-night announcement of the abrupt grounding of its fleet, a repeat of the March incident when the Civil Aviation Authority had temporarily revoked Comair’s licence over repeated safety concerns. 

NM/jn/APA

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