United Airlines has announced a codeshare with South African airline Airlink that will offer passengers more connections between the U.S. and Southern Africa than “any other airline partnership”. The news comes after Airlink recently expanded its partnership with Emirates.
The new agreement, which is subject to government approval, will offer one stop connections from the United States to 45 destinations in Southern Africa. In addition to this, United will be the first airline to combine its loyalty program with Airlink, allowing MileagePlus members to earn and redeem miles when they travel on Airlink’s flights.
Patrick Quayle, Vice President of International Network and Alliances, United, said:
United continues to demonstrate our commitment to Africa, beginning three brand new flights to the continent this year alone including new service to Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa. 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 including easy connections to Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and more.
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United continues to expand its network in Africa, with nonstop flights to 4 African destinations. Earlier this month, United announced flights between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria which will begin on 29th November 2021. Earlier this year, United launched new 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 flights between New York/Newark and Cape Town, South Africa will also resume on 1st December 2021.
Rodger Foster, CEO and Managing Director, Airlink, said:
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. 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.
The airlines expect full implementation of this agreement to come into effect “in the coming months”.
Meanwhile, United is heavily investing on Carbon-Free aircraft. The airline recently announced that it will buy up to 50 Supersonic aircraft from BOOM Aerospace. The Chicago-based carrier is also investing in airplanes that have lower carbon emissions. It includes the airline’s recent order of 200 Boeing B737MAX and 70 Airbus A321neo aircraft. It is also eyeing flying electric aircraft by 2026.
The airline recently added nearly 150 flights to Warm-Weather cities for Winter season, has added 74 flights targeted at Football fans and three brand-new Transcontinental routes. United is now also offering the option to pre-order snacks and beverages including to Economy class passengers. It is also offering more than 40 weekly flights between United States and London in anticipation of high travel demand as the United Kingdom has scraped the mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated Americans. United has partnered with Walmart and Albertson Companies for easier COVID-19 testing and will operate flights between Orange County and Aspen this winter. The airline will add three new short-haul International routes this winter and begin flying between Washington DC and Lagos, Nigeria in November 2021.
Featured image by Airlink
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