The commercial agreement, which is subject to government approval, will offer one-stop connections from the US to more than 40 destinations in southern Africa. Additionally, United will be the first airline to connect its loyalty programme with Airlink, allowing MileagePlus members to earn and redeem miles when they travel on Airlink flights.
This new cooperation will be in addition to United’s existing partnership with Star Alliance member South African Airways.
“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. “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 Zambia, Zimbabwe and more.”
United has continued to expand its footprint into Africa, with direct service to four African destinations. Earlier this month, the airline announced that flights between Washington D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria will begin on 29 November, subject to government approval.
Earlier this year, it launched a new service between New York/Newark and Johannesburg 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 will also resume on 1 December.
Rodger Foster, Airlink CEO and managing director, commented: “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.”