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11 December 2014

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS AND ETIHAD AIRWAYS COMMENCE SECOND PHASE OF LANDMARK STRATEGIC COOPERATION

 

  1. SAA to operate daily flight between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi from 29 March 2015
  2. Number of routes in airlines’ codeshare agreement increases from 24 to 49
  3. Closer integration of Etihad Guest and SAA Voyager frequent flyer programs
  4. Commercial teams coordination cleared by South African Competition Authorities, allowing the airlines to compete more effectively as a partnership
  5. Opportunities for coordination of procurement, facilities and airport operations

South African Airways and Etihad 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.

In 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.

South African Airways and Etihad 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.

Nico Bezuidenhout, 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.”

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 placed 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.

“Importantly, our 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 seamless experience.”

 

South African Airways and Etihad Airways’ Johannesburg – Abu Dhabi schedule

Effective 29 March 2015:

  

Route Flight No. Departure Arrival Aircraft Frequency
Johannesburg (JNB) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) SA278 10:05 20:25 Airbus A330 Daily
Abu Dhabi (AUH) - Johannesburg (JNB) SA279 02:05 08:15 Airbus A330 Daily
Johannesburg (JNB) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) EY603 20:30 06:50 +1 Airbus A330 Daily
Abu Dhabi (AUH) - Johannesburg (JNB) EY604 09:30 16:05 Airbus A330 Daily

Note: All departures and arrivals are listed in local time

 

- Ends -

 

About South African Airways (SAA)
South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 57 destinations, in partnership with SA Express, SA Airlink and its low cost carrier, Mango, within South Africa and across the continent, and ten intercontinental routes 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 wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; and Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA. SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for twelve consecutive years and the winner of ‘Service Excellence Africa’ for three years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on - time airlines.

 
About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways began operations in 2003, and in 2013 carried 11.5 million passengers. From its Abu Dhabi base Etihad Airways flies to 111 existing or announced passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 105 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways, and is in the process of formalising equity investments in Alitalia and Swiss-based Etihad Regional*. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com
 
*Operated by Darwin Airline

For more information contact:

SAA Group

Etihad Airways
Tlali Tlali, Spokesperson (Manager: Media Relations) Robeel Haq, Corporate Communications Manager
  • Tel: +27 11 978 2298
  • 082 333 3880
  • Tel: + 971 2 511 1429
Email: TlaliTlali@flysaa.com Email: rhaq@etihad.ae

 

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