South African Airways (SAA) has commenced code share services with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, following regulatory approval, which enables both carriers to offer code share and interline services to key destinations on each others’ route networks.
Under the first phase of the code share agreement, SAA customers can now access SAA marketed flights on Etihad Airways scheduled service from Johannesburg to its hub in Abu Dhabi, and onwards across the airline’s fast growing global network to Bahrain, Kuwait, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Other major destinations currently pending local regulatory approval include Shanghai, Singapore and Jeddah.
In return, Etihad Airways passengers can now travel on Etihad Airways’ marketed flights from Johannesburg to four major destinations on the SAA network including: Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth. Code sharing on scheduled services to other key destinations, including Livingston, Lusaka, Ndola, Harare, and Victoria Falls is currently pending subject to government approval.
Manoj Papa, Acting General Manager - Commercial, SAA said, “We are confident that the new code share partnership will prove extremely popular with business and leisure travellers who can now take advantage of the greater choice and seamless connectivity across our combined networks and markets.”
Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, Etihad Airways, added, “Increasing our reach into Southern Africa is critical in meeting the demand from growing numbers of leisure and business passengers travelling between Africa and the major emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Australia. The partnership agreement with South African Airways reflects our strategy of forming alliances with airlines around the world to enhance the global reach of our network.”
Phase two of the wide ranging Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed in May 2013, makes provision for the airlines to explore areas of further commercial cooperation that provide costs saving and operational efficiencies, which can be achieved through synergies and collaboration across a number of areas including reciprocal Frequent Flyer Programme participation, ground handling, procurement and training.
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