JOHANNESBURG – Middle Eastern carrier Qatar Airways has signed an agreement with local airline SA Airlink to expand operations in South Africa following the liquidation of Comair.
The deal which is a code-share agreement meant to provide customers choices between destinations was announced by Qatar Airways on Monday.
“Qatar Airways and Airlink have signed a comprehensive codeshare agreement to offer travellers more choices, enhanced services and greater connectivity between 45 destinations in 13 countries across southern Africa and the rest of the world,” the statement from Qatar Airways said.
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Airlink CEO and Managing Director Rodger Foster said the deal was an important development for South African travellers.
“It gives access to anyone who starts their journey from points in our network via our main hubs Johannesburg and Cape Town International and then to destinations Doha reaches via Qatar Airways – so they have hundreds of destinations outside of Doha and we have our 55 destinations outside of Johannesburg and Cape Town,” Foster said.
Kulula and British Airways flights are hardly expected to return to the air after the temporary liquidation of Comair, which accounted for 40% of the country’s domestic flights, earlier this month.
Many customers have been stranded after the struggling airline announced the abrupt grounding of its fleet late at night, a repeat of what happened in March, when the Civil Aviation Authority temporarily suspended Comair’s license for repeated safety concerns.