Qatar Airways and Airlink have signed a comprehensive codeshare agreement to offer travellers more choice, enhanced services and greater connectivity between 45 destinations in 13 countries across southern Africa and the rest of the world.

The new codeshare agreement means travellers 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, according to a statement from Airlink.

"The partnership will enable customers to book attractive offers from southern Africa to popular destinations in the U.S. such as New York and Dallas, cities in Europe such as London, Copenhagen and Barcelona, and points across Asia like Manila, Jakarta and Cebu."

The agreement also increases Qatar Airways' footprint in southern Africa, with improved access to destinations such as Hoedspruit, Skukuza and George in South Africa and beyond to Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, the statement added.

"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," says Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways. "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."

Qatar Airways was the only airline to launch new services in southern Africa after the pandemic, starting operations to Luanda, Harare and Lusaka last year, the statement said. It resumes operations to Windhoek this month, providing another connection to Airlink's already extensive regional network via eight gateways in the region.

Airlink's Chief Executive Rodger Foster says: "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."

The new code share flights are available for sales and will commence travel on July 6, 2022 subject to government approval.

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

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