LONDON: Dubai’s flagship airline Emirates is to expand its
codesharing agreement with South African Airways (SAA), aiming to
improve connectivity between the emirate and locations across
The expansion of the agreement will support the African
airline’s turnaround plan which aims to make a profit by
SAA is grappling with financial difficulties, having posted a
string of losses and forced to rely on government support. Having
failed to make a profit since 2011, it is cutting staff numbers and
looks to reduce its route network.
“It’s clear that SAA is struggling to survive and so it
makes sense for them to coalesce their operations with the
powerhouse that is Emirates as opposed to competing head to head,
because they simply won’t cut it against them,” said aviation
analyst Saj Ahmad at Strategic Aero Research.
“The deal also opens up the possibility of Emirates deploying
more flights to places like Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as
codesharing on other SAA-regional flights to points that Emirates
Emirates has been flying to South Africa since 1995 and the
first codeshare agreement with SAA was signed in 1997.
Under this deal, SAA is able to offer its customers seats on
flights operated by Emirates between South Africa and Dubai. This
currently includes four daily flights from Johannesburg, three
daily flights from Cape Town and one daily flight from Durban.
The new agreement will see this codeshare expand across the
“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 Tim Clark, president of Emirates
“Increasing the scope of our agreement underpins the strong
bonds we share with SAA and our belief that this enhanced
partnership will enable further success and gain to the airlines
and their customers,” he said.
SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana said: “Our route network and that of
Emirates complement one another. The expansion of our partnership
will further strengthen key focus areas of the implementation of
our turnaround plan.”
The agreement will include the two airlines working to improve
connecting times via Johannesburg, to make it easier for people to
catch flights to popular regional destinations.
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Source: FS – All-News-Economy
Emirates, South African Airways expand codeshare deal