South African Airways (SAA) and Emirates will expand their strategic cooperation with enhancements to their codeshare agreement, opening up new destinations for customers.
Pending governmental approval, the partnership will see the relationship between the two carriers grow across a wide spectrum of commercial and customer touch points.
“The expansion of our partnership will further strengthen key focus areas of the implementation of our turnaround plan,” said SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana.
“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,” said Sir Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline.
In 2017/18, the codeshare agreement between Emirates and SAA saw approximately 90,000 passengers benefit from seamless travel and greater connectivity, in this year alone, both groups said in a joint statement.
SAA offers seats on the eight daily flights operated by Emirates between South Africa and Dubai (four daily flights from Johannesburg including its iconic A380 aircraft, three daily flights from Cape Town and one daily flight from Durban).
The enhanced agreement means the codeshare will be expanded across both carriers’ networks.
Included in the new agreement are plans to enhance the frequent flyer programmes, Emirates’ Skywards and Voyager by SAA.
The airlines will separately work on other areas of bilateral cooperation and an exchange of best practices across multiple airline functions.
A 2016 study quantifying Emirates’ impact on the South African economy showed the Emirates Group’s total economic contribution amounted to $417 million/R5.81 billion, supporting 12,989 jobs in FY 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.