SA Airways, Etihad in codeshare pact

7 May 2013

South African Airways (SAA) and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, on Monday signed an agreement to introduce a comprehensive range of codeshare and interline air services.

The agreement will see SAA placing its “SA” code on 12 Etihad Airways destinations from Abu Dhabi, while Etihad Airways will place its “EY” code on flights from Johannesburg to 10 SAA destinations across South Africa, Africa and South America.

This will allow for seamless air travel connectivity between the destinations.

The agreement also makes provision for passengers to earn and redeem miles through the two airlines’ frequent flyer programmes.

Etihad Airways will place its code on SAA flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, as well as to Livingston, Lusaka and Ndola in Zambia, to Harare and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, and to Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Secondary phases of the cooperation agreement will explore code sharing to more cities, and closer synergies and efficiencies in the areas of procurement, ground handling and training.

“This extensive commercial agreement will enable SAA to access the vast majority of Etihad Airways global markets,” said SAA acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout.

SAA acting chairperson Dudu Myeni said the partnership would provide SAA customers with seamless access to 12 key destinations in the Middle East and beyond, while broadening SAA’s strategic partnership network.

Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan said the partnership would enable the two airlines “to achieve significant goals in several different global markets, as well as collaborate on a number of key commercial initiatives”, adding that Etihad was looking forward to extending its footprint in the “strategically critical African market”.

Between them, the two airline groups expect to carry more than 20-million passengers in 2013.

In April, SAA and Indian airline Jet Airways announced a similar codeshare agreement that will facilitate smooth air travel connectivity to several business centres in India and South Africa.

Under the agreement, South African Airways, the only airline with non-stop flights between Johannesburg and Mumbai, will codeshare on Jet Airways’ operations between Mumbai and Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram.