Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, and South African Airways (SAA) are to expand their strategic cooperation with enhancements to their codeshare agreement.
Pending governmental approval, SAA and Emirates have signed an enhanced commercial partnership which will see the relationship between the two carriers grow and strengthen their already successful codeshare agreement signed in 1997.
“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,” said SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana.
“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,” added Sir Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline.
He said: “We have seen great success with the codeshare agreement… 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.”
In 2017/18, the codeshare agreement between Emirates and SAA saw approximately 90,000 passengers benefit from seamless travel and greater connectivity.
Emirates launched operations to South Africa in 1995 with flights between Dubai and Johannesburg.
The enhanced agreement means the codeshare will be expanded across both carriers’ networks.
The two airlines will work towards bringing more synergies in their respective route network, customer touch points, cargo services and flight schedules to enable seamless connectivity and enhance passenger flows.
Also included in the new agreement are plans to enhance the frequent flyer programmes, Emirates’ Skywards and Voyager by SAA.
A 2016 study quantifying Emirates’ impact on the South African economy showed the Emirates Group’s total economic contribution amounted to $417 million, supporting 12,989 jobs in 2014/15. Emirates has since grown its seat capacity to South Africa from 2,572 to 3,101 daily seats, increasing Emirates’ impact on the economy and employment further.
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