(Facebook, FlySafair)
(Facebook, FlySafair)

Qatar Airways, by some estimates the world's biggest airline, has entered into partnership with FlySafair, South Africa’s largest domestic airline.

The announcement follows shortly after a similar deal with local airline Airlink.

Qatar’s so-called "interline agreement" with FlySafair will allow passengers to book connecting flights through either of the companies. Travellers won't have to book connecting flights separately. 

An interlink agreement also usually means that the airlines will handle the check-in and baggage for each other’s passengers, so you only need to check in once for connecting flights on either airline.

The agreement will provide Qatar passengers from across the world seamless connectivity via Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg to ten of FlySafair’s domestic connections, including Port Elizabeth, East London and George. The Airlink agreement connects Qatar Airways travellers with more than 20 regional destinations in Southern Africa, including Gaborone, Maun, Tete, Lusaka, Harare and Victoria Falls.

“We are delighted to sign this interline agreement with FlySafair, further expanding our presence and travel booking options in South Africa,” said Qatar Airways vice president for Africa, Hendrik Du Preez.

FlySafair resumed flights in June. SAA is still in business rescue and not yet flying domestically. Comair, owner of kulula.com and the local operator of British Airways flights, is also in business rescue and has not resumed flights.

Operating  16 aircrafts, and with the capacity to fly almost 460,000 passengers a year, FlySafair became the country’s largest domestic airline in December 2019 - six years after it was founded.  FlySafair is a division of Safair, which ran an aircraft maintenance division long before FlySafair’s first flight in 2014. ASL Airlines Ireland holds a minority share in Safair's operations.  

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