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British Airways and South Africa’s CemAir Ink New Interline Agreement

The airline is looking to expand its presence in South Africa after the 2022 demise of Comair.

A British Airways Airbus A380 taxis in Los Angeles. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

British Airways has forged an interline partnership with CemAir, a South African regional airline, as announced in a press release on Monday. The collaboration aims to improve connections to leisure destinations exclusively served by CemAir and favored by British travelers.

Under this arrangement, British Airways and CemAir offer the convenience of single-ticket itineraries, along with onward booking and baggage transfers from Johannesburg and Cape Town to various destinations including Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Margate, Durban, Hoedspruit, Plettenberg Bay, George, Maun, and Victoria Falls.

Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, expressed excitement about the new interline agreement with CemAir, stating, “We’re thrilled to launch this partnership, providing customers with more travel options within South Africa. This is great news for travelers looking to explore more of the country and broaden their travel horizons.”

On his part, Miles van der Molen, Chief Executive Officer of CemAir said in a press release, “We are delighted to partner with British Airways, a name synonymous with quality and elegance. With roots dating back to 1919, British Airways has been the constant in the rapidly changing airline industry for over a hundred years. Our interline agreement provides our customers with convenience and savings as they can now seamlessly connect from our flights to the vast global network of this iconic airline.”

“As we continue our expansion during the post Covid recovery period we realise that now more than ever partnerships are key to our success. Working with market leaders like British Airways is a further demonstration of our commitment to our customers to provide the best service and value.”

Moving Away From Comair

Previously, British Airways facilitated onward connections from Johannesburg and Cape Town through Comair, which operated domestic routes as a British Airways franchisee and an affiliate member of the oneworld alliance. Comair also operated as a low-cost carrier under its own brand, Kulula.com.

However, following the collapse of Comair on June 9, 2022, British Airways’ South Africa network faced challenges. The signed partnership with CemAir helps fill this gap. At the moment, British Airways offers two daily non-stop flights from London Heathrow to Johannesburg International Airport.

CemAir has been capitalizing on opportunities in the evolving aviation landscape in South Africa. Since resuming operations in June 2020, the airline has expanded its domestic route network. It has also secured interline agreements with major carriers, including Ethiopia Airlines in January 2021 and Qatar Airways in February 2021, enabling more seamless travel options for passengers across both carriers’ networks on a single ticket.

A CemAir CRJ-200 parked on the ramp. (Photo: CemAir)

Furthermore, Emirates signed a new interline agreement with CemAir on August 23, 2021.

At the moment, CemAir serves 11 domestic destinations and 4 international destinations in three countries, according to travel booking engine Flightconnections.

Victor Shalton


  • Victor Shalton

    Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Victor’s love for aviation goes way back to when he was 11-years-old. Living close to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, he developed a love for planes and he even recalls aspiring to be a future airline executive for Kenya Airways. He also has a passion in the arts and loves writing and had his own aviation blog prior to joining AirlineGeeks. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at DeKUT and aspiring to make a career in a more aviation-related course.

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