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Airlink and Emirates Expand Partnership and Seal Codeshare Agreement

Seamless connections from South Africa as both airlines increase cooperation for easier travel options.

Airlink, the independent Southern African airline 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. The connectivity provided by the new codeshare between Emirates and Airlink will offer competitive fares, combined ticketing, and seamless baggage transfers when connecting between both airlines.

Emirates customers travelling 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. We are delighted, honoured, and privileged that Emirates Airline has chosen Airlink as its Southern Africa partner. 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. 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 realised, and more customers will want to visit the special destinations that Airlink offers services to,” said Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.

The expansion of the Emirates – Airlink partnership marks an important step forward in our relationship. Our new codeshare agreement enhances our service offering and flexibility for customers traveling beyond our gateways in South and Southern Africa and provides them unparalleled options for leisure destinations. 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,” said Emirates Airline Chief Commercial Officer, Adnan Kazim.

“Our codeshare partnership with Airlink complements the valuable relationship Emirates has with South African Airways, which we eagerly anticipate to restart once the airline is back in operation,” he added. Customers can book their travel with both airlines on emirates.com, through online travel agencies as well as with local travel agents.

Emirates has boosted its operations into South Africa. The airline continues to safely rebuild its global network and restore market demand through connecting customers to and through Dubai to over 120 global destinations. It also continues to expand its presence in South and Southern Africa through building strong relationships with airline partners like Airlink, and driving more connectivity options that drive value through a better experience for its customers.

About Airlink

Airlink was established in 1992 and is an independent, privately-owned and BBBEE airline. It offers travellers a wide choice of flights across its comprehensive network of Southern African destinations, which it serves with a fleet of more than 50 modern jetliners.

Like its industrious sunbird icon, in 2019 Airlink carried more than two million customers on more than 63 000 flights and its network includes more than 40 destinations in 12 African countries and St Helena Island*. Airlink’s flight schedule is regularly updated and reflects the effects of COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions. The latest information is available on the Airlink website.

Airlink was South Africa’s most punctual airline in 2020**. In July 2021 97.37% of Airlink flights departed on-time, with 97.63% of its flights having departed on time for the calendar year to date, illustrating its laser-focus on providing customers with excellent and reliable service.

* Flights serving St Helena Island will resume when the current travel restrictions are lifted.
**measured by the Airports Company South Africa.