South African Airways and Emirates have agreed to extend their code-sharing agreement, in a boost to the loss-making African carrier.
The enhanced agreement means the codeshare would be expanded across both carriers’ networks, with SAA adding its codes to Emirates eight daily South African flights.
Emirates flies four times daily to Dubai from Johannesburg, three times per day from Cape Town and daily from Durban.
The airlines said they would work towards adding route network synergies including cargo services and flight schedules that will improve connectivity and increase passenger numbers.
Also included in the new agreement are plans to enhance the frequent flyer programmes of both airlines.
“This agreement marks a significant forward step in the execution of our strategy and in transforming our business,” SAA chief executive Vuyani Jarana said. “Our route network and that of Emirates complement one another. The expansion of our commercial relationship will further strengthen key focus areas of the implementation of our turnaround plan.”
SAA hasn’t made a profit since 2011, but hopes to turn the situation around by 2021 with cost cuts.
The airlines started sharing codes in 1997, the first the UAE carrier had signed. The existing deal benefited 90,000 passengers in 2017/18, the airlines said.