Thanks to the expansion of Emirates and Airlink’s existing partnership (which is now also a unilateral codeshare agreement), travellers to and from South Africa will now have convenient access to more than 40 domestic and regional destinations across 12 African countries.
According to a statement issued by both airlines, the extended codeshare provides connectivity to Emirates customers not offered by any other carrier in Africa.
“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,” read part of the statement.
People 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.
They can also make their way to Southern African locations 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.
“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,” said Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline.
Kazim added that Emirates was committed to growing operations in South Africa and hoped that with the strong connection opportunities being provided collectively with Airlink, the pair would be able to help jumpstart the recovery of the local travel and tourism industry.
“Our codeshare partnership with Airlink complements the valuable relationship Emirates has with South African Airways [SAA), which we eagerly anticipate to restart once the airline is back in operation.”
This forms part of the airline’s grander plan to safely rebuild its global network and restore market demand through connecting customers to and through Dubai to over 120 global destinations.
Rodger Foster, chief executive officer and managing director of Airlink, expressed his excitement at the deal, calling it an “exciting development” that “is an overwhelming endorsement to Airlink”.
He further added that Airlink was delighted, honoured, and privileged to have been chosen as Emirate’s Southern Africa partner.
“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.”
Customers looking to make use of either airline’s services can book their travel with both Emirates and Airlink on emirates.com.
They can also book through online travel agencies as well as with local travel agents.