Ethiopian Airlines partners with South Africa’s Airlink

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – Ethiopian Airlines entered an agreement to share flight routes with regional South African carrier Airlink, as the continent’s biggest airline expands its reach.

Ethiopian Airlines has entered into a series of partnerships with continental and global carriers.

The latest agreement lets travellers buy one ticket to fly across each airline’s routes, connecting smaller South African towns with Ethiopian’s global reach. “In our continuous commitment and endeavour to expand our service beyond our extensive network in Africa, we are happy to enhance our cooperation and add Airlink to our list of growing partners,” ET Group Chief Executive Tewolde Gebremariam said in a statement on Thursday.

“As South Africa represents the continent’s largest market… implementation of this interline agreement will create ease of access” for travellers to South African regional airports, he added.

Johannesburg-based Airlink is South Africa’s main air service between smaller towns and larger airport hubs.

National carrier South African Airways (SAA) recently emerged from a 17-month business rescue and resumed a handful of domestic and regional services last month.

It had survived for decades on government bailouts and was shutting routes even before coronavirus hit.

With a fleet of just six planes down from 46, SAA signed an agreement with Kenya Airways last month with the long-term aim to create a pan-African airline.

Workers spraying disinfectant on an Ethiopian Airlines plane at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, in Abuja, Nigeria. PHOTO: AFP