Qatar Airways has become the latest Gulf carrier to sign a codeshare deal with Johannesburg-headquartered carrier Airlink.

Qatar Airways currently operates 35 weekly flights from Doha to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, and said that the new agreement would offer customers greater connectivity to and from 45 destinations in 13 countries across southern Africa.

The carrier highlighted improved access to destinations including Ggeberha (Port Elizabeth) Hoedspruit, Skukuza and George in South Africa and beyond to Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

The new codeshare flights are now available for sale, for travel from July 6, 2022.

The move follows a similar agreement between Emirates and Airlink which was announced in August 2021, and which launched earlier this month.

The South African aviation industry is currently in a state of flux, with British Airways franchisee Comair recently filing for liquidation, and South African Airways currently only operating a handful of domestic and African routes.

British Airways franchisee Comair enters liquidation

Commenting on the news Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar al Baker, said:

“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.”

“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.”