South African Airways and the Australian carrier Qantas have been granted an interim extension of permission to codeshare on their flights between Johannesburg, Perth, and Sydney, ensuring flexibility and freedom of choice for travellers between the two countries.
A decision by the Australian International Air Services Commission extending permission for the codeshare until the end of March 2013 means SAA passengers can continue to choose to fly non stop to either Western Australia or to the east coast of the continent. Under the agreement, flights to Perth in the west are operated by SAA, while passengers flying to Sydney in the east on an SAA ticket will be accommodated on Qantas flights.
Welcoming the decision, SAA General Manager Commercial, Theunis Potgieter, said the airline would increase the number of flights between its Johannesburg hub and Perth from the current six per week in each direction to seven in mid-August. SAA would offer tickets on all seven codeshare flights per week in each direction between Johannesburg and Sydney.
“Perth is a popular family destination because of the many South African residents there, but it is also the major hub for connecting mining towns all over Western Australia, a very important factor for many of our passengers,” said Potgieter. “Perth is also a significant gateway for passengers headed to Melbourne, many other Australian cities, and to New Zealand.”
SAA has operated the Perth route for more than 50 years, making it one of the longest established destinations in the airline’s global long haul network. Following the current interim approval for the codeshare, SAA and Qantas are seeking a three-year extension of permission for the arrangement. SAA has written to the Australian Government International Air Services Commission in support of the application by Qantas, and a decision is expected later this year.
Potgieter said the code sharing arrangement further secures Johannesburg’s growing role as a fast, efficient transfer hub between South America and Australasia. “By connecting in Johannesburg, passengers can fly between Sao Paulo in Brazil, Buenos Aires in Argentina, and Perth and Sydney in Australia.”
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South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 26 destinations across the continent, as well as major destinations within South Africa and internationally from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC). SAA CEO Siza Mzimela is the first woman to be appointed to the IATA Board of Directors in its 67 year history. SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for ten consecutive years and the winner of ‘Service Excellence Africa’ for three consecutive years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on time airlines.