British Airways Signs Air Link as new South African Franchise

British Airways Signs Air Link as new South African Franchise

DALLAS – British Airways (BA) has signed a new codeshare agreement with South African regional carrier Airlink (4Z). The move follows the demise of 25-year franchise partner Comair (MN), which ceased operations in June 2022. MN’s collapse cut domestic capacity in South Africa by 40%, and 4Z has quickly filled the void.

The new deal will allow BA passengers to connect to 4Z services from Cape Town (CPT), Durban (DUR) and Johannesburg (JNB). Airlink operates a fleet of Embraer Regional Jets, including the ERJ-135/140 and E170/E190/E195, plus several BAe Jetstream 41s on 63 routes to 13 countries.

BA currently serves CPT twice daily from London Heathrow (LHR) with Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft and thrice weekly from London Gatwick (LGW) with its 777s. It also utilises its Airbus A380 on a double daily service from LHR to JNB.

Airlink unveiled its new identity in October 2020. Photo: Airlink.

“More Options”

“Our flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg continue to be as popular as ever with our customers, so we’re pleased to be able to open up more options in the Southern African region,” said Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances.

JNB-based Airlink is no stranger to franchise operations after operating as a South African Airways (SA) partner for 23 years. This ended in early 2020 when the carrier secured its own AOC and became a standalone operator.

Airlink chief executive Rodger Foster said, “This is an important next step in our partnership with British Airways, which has a phenomenal global reach into the most important markets for our region.

“The marriage of our two networks will benefit both British Airways’ and Airlink’s customers, giving them even more choice with a wide range of itinerary options and connectivity possibilities.”

Featured Image: BA uses its Airbus A380 on its twice-daily rotation from LHR to JNB. Photo: Francesco Cecchetti/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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