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Airlink grows their offering to cover Comair’s collapse: SA – ZAWYA

Comair’s closing has had a widespread impact on domestic travel in South Africa, wiping out about 40% of aircraft capacity. Amid fears of price hikes, Airlink is taking steps to grow their fleet and add new routes to make up the shortfall faster. Keep reading for the latest news on booking Airlink flights to new destinations.

Airlink takes steps to add capacity

Airlink is currently one of the biggest operators in Africa and has the largest fleet of Embraer aircraft on the continent. Out of 56 aircraft available, 50 are from the Embraer range, including 3 E170s, 28 E145s, and 19 E190s.

Now, Airlink has embarked on a lease for three E195s from Nordic Aviation Capital, which will replace the E190 as Airlink’s largest aircraft, and increase their offering considerably.

This will help satisfy some of the growing demand for airline seats and keep prices as low as possible for passengers booking airlink flights in future.

Airlink and Qatar Airways adding international destinations

A recent codeshare agreement with Doha-based Qatar Airways, one of the Middle East’s largest airline networks, has enabled Airlink to take steps to increase capacity for foreign visitors to Hoedspruit, Skukuza, George, Gqeberha, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

Likewise, South African travellers will enjoy enhanced connectivity between 45 destinations across 13 countries worldwide.

The comprehensive codeshare agreement means travellers may enjoy seamless connecting flights using a single reservation thanks to coordinated ticketing, boarding, check-in, and baggage checks for the duration of their journey.

Passengers can book their flights in one place with travel agencies either online or in person.

Now, customers can book appealing offers from Southern Africa to destinations like New York, Dallas, London, Copenhagen, Barcelona and more. Sought-after Asian destinations like Manila, Cebu, and Jakarta are also accessible by means of the codeshare agreement.

According to Airlink’s chief executive, Rodger Foster, the agreement endorses Airlink as a relevant provider for enabling air access to the entire region via its expansive network of destinations. As Southern Africa’s leading airline, Airlink offers reliable, safe, and comprehensive air transport for connecting people and facilitating trade.

Likewise, Qatar Airways’ group chief executive, Akbar al Baker highlighted that expanding Qatar’s network with Airlink allows customers a wider variety of destinations, serving to speed up the recovery of the travel industry.

The latest codeshare agreement with Airlink adds to Qatar Airways consistent efforts to enhance African travel. Since 2020, Qatar Airways has added eight new destinations to its portfolio.

More new routes for Airlink in 2022

After the demise of Comair, Airlink has been actively involved in adding and re-instituting more African destinations to its offering. These include:

Airlink keen to resume flights to Madagascar

Prior to 2020, Airlink was the only local operator offering flights to Madagascar, with daily return flights between Johannesburg and Antananarivo and seasonal weekly flights to Nosy Be.

When Madagascar lifted restrictions for air travel on 5 March 2022, it specifically excluded South African flights. Since then, Airlink has campaigned tirelessly to get their access reinstated, and Madagascar’s foreign minister has implied this may soon be the case.

Unfortunately, while the ban has subsequently been lifted, there is as yet no confirmed date for resumption of this service.


On 28 July, Airlink announced that it will implement a direct route between Maputo and Cape Town on 31 August 2022. The airline will harness the modern 37-seater Embraer 135 for this journey which should take place three times weekly at first.

Airlink already offers several weekly flights from Johannesburg to Mozambican destinations, including Vilanculos, Beira, Nampula, Pemba, Tete, and Maputo. Additionally, Airlink also offers flights between Mbombela and Vilanculos.

St Helena

In the wake of loosening travel restrictions, Airlink is preparing to increase the frequency of flights between Johannesburg and Jamestown, St Helena Island.

The airline plans to increase its fortnightly service to weekly flights from 15 October 2022.


From 15 August 2022, Airlink will offer daily direct return flights between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg after receiving approvals from both countries’ aeronautical authorities.

The daily flights will take place on a 98-seater Embraer E190 jetliner and will connect with Airlink’s other Johannesburg services, including the applicable Qatar codeshare destinations.

Improved prospects for the South African travel industry

The importance of increased flight availability can’t be overemphasised in relation to the South African economy.

Flight shortages and high fares pose a threat to both business and leisure travel in South Africa, creating yet another setback for the long-suffering travel industry.

In this regard, Airlink’s efforts are an important stepping stone toward economic recovery, by boosting both tourism and trade between important economic hubs.

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Emirates appoints new Country Manager for Zimbabwe – NewsDay

Talal Al Gergawi

Sydney Kawadza
GLOBAL airline, Emirates, has appointed Talal Al Gergawi as its new country manager for Zimbabwe.

Emirates operates daily flights from Harare via Lusaka to Dubai and has flown approximately a million passengers between Harare and Dubai in more than 6 000 flights since 2012.

The airline, which marked its first decade on the route in February this year, has enjoyed brisk business as a result of increased air travel by Zimbabwean traders scouting for merchandise in one of the world’s biggest trading hubs.

Al Gergawi’s appointment came into effect on August 1, 2022,  will oversee the airline’s overall business in Zimbabwe, including sales and service functions for the airline’s passenger, cargo, management and airport operations, Emirates revealed in  a statement.

“Gergawi served as District Manager – Dhahran & KSA Eastern and will now take over from Mr Nasser Bahlooq.

“He has been with Emirates for seven years serving in several management capacities over the years in Sudan, Cambodia, among other markets,” Emirates said.

 “I’m looking forward to joining the Emirates team in Zimbabwe. These are indeed unprecedented times, but Emirates remains committed to delivering innovative products and services and making travel more convenient and enjoyable for its customers across the globe,”Gergawi said of his appointment.

Emirates also announced developments in its commercial team in the Middle East, Far East, Africa, and West Asia in line with the airline’s continuous expansion and accelerated operations.

“The newly appointed commercial leads will each bring their experiences and skills to lead the airline’s development in their respective markets, including growing the customer base, strengthening existing partnerships and identifying opportunities to forge ones,” the airline said.

The Emirates story started in 1985 when it launched operations with just two aircraft and today, it flies the world’s biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, offering our customers the comforts of the latest and most efficient wide-body aircraft in the skies.

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India vs Zimbabwe 2022: Squads, Full Schedule, Telecast, And Live Streaming Details – Cricfit

Team India BCCI
Indian cricket team (Photo: BCCI)

India will travel to Zimbabwe for a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series ahead of the Asia Cup 2022. The bilateral series will get underway on August 18. The Harare Sports Club in Harare will host all the games of the series. The all-format cricketers have been rested from the squad, keeping in mind the busy schedule ahead.

Shikhar Dhawan will lead the Men in Blue. The likes of Rahul Tripathi, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Subhman Gill, etc. have all been called up. The series also marks the return of Washington Sundar and Deepak Chahar into the Indian team while Kuldeep Yadav would also look to get a consistent run in the team, having only gotten isolated opportunities of late.

Zimbabwe, meanwhile, have been quite impressive in their recent fixtures. They defeated Bangladesh in both the T20I and ODI series, winning 4 matches out of a total of 6 from the assignment.

India and Zimbabwe last played an ODI cricket match on June 15, 2016. India are in a 12-match winning run in ODIs against Zimbabwe. India last lost to Zimbabwe in an  ODI on June 3, 2010.

India vs Zimbabwe 2022 – Squads

India: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar.

Zimbabwe: Yet to be announced.

Full Schedule

Date Match Details Venue Time (IST)
Aug 18 (Thursday) Zimbabwe vs India, 1st ODI Harare Sports Club, Harare 12:45 PM
Aug 20 (Saturday) Zimbabwe vs India, 2nd ODI Harare Sports Club, Harare 12:45 PM
Aug 22, (Monday) Zimbabwe vs India, 3rd ODI Harare Sports Club, Harare 12:45 PM

Live Streaming Details

The Sony Sports Network has the broadcasting rights for India’s tour fo Zimbabwe. The live streaming of the 3-match ODI series will be available on Sony Liv.

In Zimbabwe, all the matches can be watched on SuperSport TV.

Get the latest cricket news here, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more such updates.

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Beitbridge passport office cuts long trips for residents – Bulawayo24 News

A passport issuing office has been opened in Beitbridge town as the Government presses ahead with plans to decentralise critical services nationwide and most people in the area reckon that with passports readily available a lot of the illegal travel to South Africa will become legal.

Before the new office opened, residents from the district would travel to Gwanda, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Gweru, and Harare to access passport services.

Beitbridge is one of the busiest inland border posts within SADC where up to 15 000 travellers pass through the port on a normal day with numbers rising to 35 000 during peak periods. The district has an estimated 250 000 residents in both the urban and rural components.

The majority of the local people need to move across the border frequently for business and family reunions, with the colonial border splitting a community that stretched along both sides of the Limpopo River.

So most need passports. And among the flood of travellers each day are Zimbabweans based in Eswatini, Lesotho, and South Africa many of whom need to renew their passport upon entering the country, since that is one reason for their travel.

An official at the local passport office who spoke on condition of anonymity said yesterday that they were carrying out a test run pending the official opening of the facility.

“We started a test run last week, this will enable us to fix any teething challenges before the official opening. The response from the community is overwhelming and we have been able to measure up to the task,” said the official.

Residents, and travellers who use the Beitbridge Border Post commended the new dispensation for delivering on its pre-election promises.

Mr Gift Munyai from the Fula area in Beitbridge East constituency some 80km outside the border town said the community was very excited to have a passport office on their doorstep.

He said the opening of the office was a testimony that the Government was serious about fully implementing the devolution concept that seeks to spread services and economic development opportunities to every part of the country.

“The passport office is going to assist us a lot. We really appreciate what the government has done,” said Mr Munyai.

“You will note that, most of the people were resorting to irregular migration (border jumping), not by choice, but due to limited access to such services and now that will be a thing of the past.

In addition, some people previously experienced accommodation challenges while travelling to other towns to apply for passports. Now they will just travel from any part of Beitbridge and access these critical services and return to their homes within a few hours,” said Mr Munyai.

Miss Tracey Shoko of Masera some 60km west of the border town said the opening of a passport office within their reach was a relief to most women. Women had been the hardest hit, especially those involved in cross-border-related activities, and were failing to travel formally due to challenges relating to accessing passports.

A villager from Madaulo area, some 100 km east of Beitbridge, Mr Isaac Mbedzi said,” We are happy with the efforts being made by the government in fixing service delivery challenges.

Travelling from this place to Beitbridge town and another urban area like Harare or Bulawayo had become a headache for many members of the community”.

Ms Sibusisiwe Muleya from the Umzingwane area some 50km along the Beitbridge to Bulawayo road said the availability of a passport office in the area was a motivation for many people to travel formally to other countries.

She said some people would become venerable to abuse after travelling to other countries without valid travel documents.

“I am glad that the improved access to this critical travel document will address some social protection issues the migrants were facing in other countries,” she said.

Mr Zondani Mbedzi of Malungudzi area, some 115km east of the border town, said Government had timeously intervened to minimize cases of border jumping.

He said in some instances people were finding it hard to travel for over 400km to apply for a passport so that they may visit a relative some 20km away south of the Limpopo River.

“We are happy that the Government is fulfilling its promises and it is pleasing to note that they are also rolling out a mobile civil registration programme,” said Mr Mbedzi.

Mrs Bona Shoko of Headman Tsethana area said the improved access to critical services would help minimize the abuse of women who are often taken advantage of by strangers when they seek accommodation after travelling for longer distances to get services

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