South African airline Airlink has boosted its services between South Africa and Zimbabwe after launching direct flights between Durban and Harare. The inaugural flight took off on April 5 on a three-times-a-week service.
Airlink launches Durban-Harare flights
Airlink has strengthened its links with Zimbabwe after the inauguration of its new Durban-Harare link. The carrier will fly between King Shaka International Airport in Durban and Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare three times a week.
Airlink CEO and Managing Director Rodger Foster said:
“The convenience, customer appeal and affordability of our new direct service will promote business, trade and travel between the two cities and improve the economic competitiveness of the regions they support. They also describe the importance which we attach to both markets. Durban is one of South Africa’s three main economic hubs and Zimbabwe is South Africa’s largest commercial and tourism market in the region.”
Airlink celebrated the maiden flight on April 5 with a welcome reception in Durban. Photo: Getty Images
The full schedule (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays) is as follows:
- DUR – HRE – Departure at 10:30 a.m., arrival at 12:40 p.m.
- TIME – DUR – Departure 1:20 p.m., arrival 3:35 p.m.
The inaugural flight took off from Durban on April 5 and arrived in Harare at 12:40 p.m. The return flight landed in Durban at 3.35pm and was greeted with a traditional water cannon salute and welcome reception.
Operated by the Embraer ERJ135
Airlink will deploy its fleet of Embraer ERJ135 jets on this service. Each step will take approximately two hours and ten minutes.
Fares include a free economy class checked baggage allowance of 20 kg, as well as a sports equipment allowance of 15 kg. Travelers on board will receive a light meal and complimentary refreshments.
The carrier’s ERJ135 fleet offers 37 economy class seats in a 1-2 configuration. There is no middle seat, so passengers have the choice of either a panoramic window seat or a convenient aisle seat.
Stimulate regional travel
Airlink CEO and Managing Director Rodger Foster spoke at length about Airlink’s decision to expand operations after a difficult few years.
“[Durban-Harare] was an underserved market that needed support, which is why Airlink stepped in. Visitors arriving at King Shaka International from Zimbabwe peaked at 36,879 in 2018 but started to decline in 2019 and have halved since then. We believe the convenience, attractiveness and affordability of direct flights will boost travel between the two cities.”
Airlink currently serves 45 destinations, mainly in Southern and Eastern Africa, with a fleet of over 50 aircraft.
The carrier has also recently launched domestic routes, including a new twice-daily Durban – Gqeberha service and the resumption of direct services to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport near Mbombela.
With its strategy of focusing on underserved routes and partnering with global airlines, Airlink has become one of Africa’s largest carriers.
Last month, Airlink restored regular air connectivity from Saint Helena after a two-year absence.
Do you plan to fly this route in the future? How did you find your travel experience with Airlink? Let us know in the comments.
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