Emirates Airline and South African Airways strengthen relationship

Emirates Airline

Emirates Airline has enhanced its strategic partnership with South African Airways (SAA) to introduce new destinations for passengers of both carriers.

The two airlines recently formalised an enhanced commercial partnership that will expand their cooperation and strengthen an already fruitful codeshare agreement, which was originally signed in 1997.

CEO, SAA, Vuyani Jarana commented: “This agreement marks a significant forward step in the execution of our strategy and in transforming our business. It will enable us to explore and leverage synergies between ourselves in a much more enhanced relationship of mutual benefit. Our route network and that of Emirates complement one another. The expansion of our partnership will further strengthen key focus areas of the implementation of our turnaround plan.”

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Also remarking on the news was president, Emirates Airline, Sir Tim Clark: “We remain deeply committed to our decades-long relationship with SAA, and the forthcoming expansion of our codeshare agreement is an exciting development and a significant milestone in our history in South Africa.

“We have seen great success with the codeshare agreement, having enabled greater connectivity to both SAA and Emirates customers, by offering more choice, flexibility and ease of connections to a wide range of cities via Dubai and across more points in Southern Africa. Increasing the scope of our agreement underpins the strong bonds we share with SAA and our belief that this enhanced partnership will enable further success and gain to the airlines and their customers,” he concluded.

During 2017/2018, the airlines’ codeshare benefited approximately 90,000 passengers, all of whom enjoyed seamless travel and greater connectivity.

SAA is able to offer its customers seats on eight daily services operated by Emirates Airline between South Africa and Dubai (four daily flights from Johannesburg, three daily flights from Cape Town and one daily flight from Durban).

This new and improved agreement will now result in an expanded codeshare. Both SAA and Emirates Airline will work towards bringing more synergies in their respective route network, customer touch points, cargo services and flight schedules, thus enabling seamless connectivity and enhancing passenger flows. Connectivity will be improved by adjusting connecting times through Johannesburg, with a special focus on popular regional markets.

Meanwhile, also included in the agreement are plans to bolster the airlines’ frequent flyer programmes, Emirates’ Skywards and Voyager by SAA. The carriers will additionally work separately on other areas of bilateral cooperation and an exchange of best practices across multiple airline functions.