11 Dec 2014 08:30
Etihad Airways and South African Airways have announced a major expansion of their strategic partnership, marking a new era of cooperation between the two national flag carriers.
As part of the
extended cooperation, South African Airways will launch a daily service between
Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi on 29 March 2015, which will complement Etihad
Airways’ existing flights between the two cities to offer a combined double-daily
frequency on the route.
As a result, business
and leisure travellers will benefit from the convenience of multiple options
between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi within the same day. More than 1,000
connections will also be offered each week over Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub
to key markets including the GCC region, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, and North
and South East Asia.
The airlines have also
significantly developed their codeshare agreement to include a total of 49 routes,
more than double the previous number. Subject to regulatory approval, Etihad
Airways will place its ‘EY’ code on South African Airways’ new Johannesburg-Abu
Dhabi flights, in addition to 16 of the airline’s other services from
Johannesburg to key destinations across the African continent. In return, South
African Airways will place its ‘SA’ code on 32 Etihad Airways routes beyond Abu
Dhabi to a range of destinations worldwide.
addition, the airlines will enhance the alignment of their Etihad
Guest and Voyager frequent flyer programs, with even more opportunities for
members to earn and redeem miles. Benefits such as priority baggage handling, boarding
and check-in, and airport lounge access across the airlines’ networks will be
provided based on membership tiers.
Etihad Airways and
South African Airways continue to explore areas for further cooperation,
including joint sales and marketing programs and the coordination of procurement,
facilities and airport operations. Together, these initiatives will optimise
synergies between the airlines and provide guests with consistently high
product and service levels at the most competitive price.
James Hogan, Etihad
Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The partnership between
Etihad Airways and South African Airways has been a resounding commercial success
for both airlines. Since our codeshare flights were first on sale in July last
year, we have placed more than 20,000 passengers onto each other’s flights, and
there is huge potential to significantly increase that number as the cooperation
is developed in the coming years.
expanded partnership will enhance the benefits that Etihad Airways and South
African Airways offer to business and leisure travellers, such as improved
connections, enhanced opportunities to earn and redeem miles, and a more
SAA’s acting Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our multi-layered partnership with
Etihad Airways has been instrumental in allowing South African Airways to
establish new connections between the African continent and other markets
worldwide for its passengers.
“Under the second
phase of our cooperation, we will better serve established regions such as North
America, Europe and Australia, while strengthening our presence in fast-growing
markets across the Middle East and Asia. In particular, the codeshare expansion
will support a planned adjustment of our network to strengthen access into the
fast-growing China and India markets.”