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Lufthansa Group Expands Reach in Southern Africa via Interline Agreement with Airlink
The Lufthansa Group has announced that two of its subsidiaries, Lufthansa, and Swiss Air Lines, have signed an interline agreement with South African privately-owned regional carrier Airlink in a bid to increase both airline’s presence in the South African region.
The interline agreement will widen both airlines reach into southern Africa, providing enhanced connectivity via Airlink’s gateways in Johannesburg and Cape Town to more than 20 regional destinations and more than 25 domestic destinations in South Africa such as; Bloemfontein, George, Abington, Skukuza, Nelspruit, Hoedspruit and Port Elizabeth, among others.
The regional flights will include cities in Gaborone, Kasane, Maun all in Botswana; Vilanculos, Maputo in Mozambique; Victoria Falls, Lusaka, Ndola in Zambia; Harare, Bulawayo in Zimbabwe; Windhoek in Namibia and many more.
The partnership which came to effect in January 2021 will offer ease of single-ticket travel to or from a multitude of destinations in the southern Africa region via airlink’s gateways, therefore, offering a seamless travel experience across both airlines.
Dr. Andre Schulz, general manager of sales in Southern and East Africa commented, “The Lufthansa Group is pleased to offer our customers even more travel options and convenience through our partnership with Airlink. We value Airlink as an important and reliable partner in the restart of our South African operations and look forward to exploring further opportunities to widen the scope of our joint collaboration. This partnership represents another milestone in further enhancing our network and expressing the Lufthansa Group’s commitment to South Africa.”
Airlink CEO, Rodger Foster added, “ We are proud and excited about our commercial interline agreement with Lufthansa and Swiss. We have a deep respect for these airlines, their values and their global reach. We are confident that the partnership will provide our respective customers with a wider choice of travel options through the convenient interconnectivity of our respective flights at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.”
The interline agreement is a relationship between airlines that allows one airline sells services to a customer that are provided by another airline. Airlines use interline to sell itineraries that they would otherwise not be able to serve alone. Passengers can also change from one flight on one airline to another flight on another airline without having to gather their bags or check-in again.
Airlink is a privately-owned regional airline serving a comprehensive network of smaller destinations throughout Southern Africa. The airline carried 2 million passengers last year on more than 63,000 flights with its fleet of 53 commercial airliners on 55 routes to 39 destinations in nine countries. It operates six types of aircraft – from Embraer 190 to Cessna Caravan – indicating the breadth of its network.
Airlink probably is the most punctual airline in South Africa for 2020 with an on-time performance that is consistently better than 95 percent. It became an independent carrier in late 2020 as its tie with South African Airways was severed.
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