Photo Credit: Dan Kitwood
United Airlines Expands Routes To 40 Destinations In Southern Africa
Flying to southern African countries will be easier through a newly announced United Airlines codeshare agreement with South African regional carrier Airlink.
The new agreement, which is subject to government approval, will offer one stop connections from the U.S. to more than 40 destinations in Southern Africa. The list includes cities in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, among others countries in the region.
United will be the first airline to connect its loyalty program with Airlink, allowing MileagePlus members to earn and redeem miles when they travel on Airlink flights. This new partnership will be in addition to United’s existing partnership with Star Alliance member South African Airways.
Airlink formerly operated flights as an SAA franchise operator, but has been operating under its own brand since last year. SAA resumed flights earlier this month after a year-long break as it worked on a financial restructuring severely impacted by the pandemic.
Airlink was established in 1992 and is an independent, privately-owned, full-service airline. The airline serving more than 45 destinations in 12 countries throughout Southern Africa, Madagascar and St Helena Island.
“United continues to demonstrate our commitment to Africa, starting three brand-new flights to the continent this year alone including new service to Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa,” said Patrick Quayle, vice president of international network and alliances at United in a statement published in the company’s website.
“And now through our codeshare agreement with Airlink— which is the most expansive partnership in Southern Africa, customers will be able to easily explore more bucket list destinations across the continent,” he added.
Currently, United Airlines offers direct service to four African destinations, and earlier this month, United announced flights between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria, which is scheduled to begin on November 29, subject to government approval.
The airline launched service between New York/Newark and Johannesburg, South Africa and between Washington, D.C. and Accra, Ghana, which is expected to operate daily this December and January. United’s popular service between New York/Newark and Cape Town, South Africa will also resume on December 1.
“North America is an important source market for our destinations. This codeshare will make it easy for our North American customers to reach the Okavango Delta, Chobe, the Kruger National Park and adjacent private game lodges, Cape Town, the Garden Route, Swakopmund and the Copperbelt, among others,” said Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster. “Similarly, the codeshare means that our customers in the 12 African countries we currently serve, will have fast and seamless access to all of United’s network.”