Emirates has added a new partner in FlySafair to strengthen options in South Africa. The two airlines announced the interline agreement on November 15th, as South Africa prepares to lift restrictions for international travelers.
The new interline agreement
Emirates and FlySafair will interline, giving Emirates’ customers more access to flights in South Africa. The agreement will allow Emirates’ customers to purchase a single itinerary with both airlines, which also comes with through tagging of baggage.
The agreement covers routes from Emirates’ three South African destinations (Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban) to domestic points flown by FlySafair in South Africa, such as Port Elizabeth, East London, and George.
Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations for Africa, Badr Abbas, stated the following in a press release viewed by Simple Flying:
“We are pleased to begin our interline partnership with FlySafair. Their network complements our South African presence, providing an array of connections for our customers, which makes this a natural partnership. Together, we will open up new travel opportunities, and more choice for customers wishing to travel domestically. We look forward to working together and strengthening our relationship into the future.”
Meanwhile, Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair, stated the following:
“We are in a very fortunate position whereby we were able to restart operations in June this year. As of November, we will be operating at our full capacity again, which will see us operating just over 75% of the available domestic seat capacity in South Africa. International traffic is still very limited given the various restrictions in place, but we are happy to report that there has been a slow and steady uptick in the volumes of flights we are selling through our connection agreements like that with Emirates.”
Emirates’ South African network
Emirates is currently flying 17 weekly flights to South Africa. This includes operations to Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. All of these routes only resumed operations back in October.
Currently, Emirates is flying Boeing 777 aircraft on these routes to South Africa. The 777 is a ubiquitous aircraft on flights to South Africa on Emirates.
FlySafair is a low-cost carrier in South Africa. The carrier is an all-Boeing airline and flies both 737-400s and 737-800s. The airline is expecting to grow its fleet of 737-800s. All of its aircraft are in an all-economy configuration, which is a little jarring if you are coming from an Emirates flight in, say business or first class.
Emirates has a lot of South African partnerships
Emirates and South African Airways (SAA) also have a partnership, extending even further than the new one with FlySafair. This includes a codeshare agreement and frequent flier benefits with the flag carrier of the country.
It was less than a month ago that Emirates announced a new interline agreement with Airlink, another regional airline in South Africa. Airlink has a little more connectivity in South Africa and beyond compared to FlySafair.
With South African Airways’ future still in question and a need for more travelers, the interlining agreement with FlySafair is a relatively inexpensive way for the airline to capture a few more travelers to and from South Africa. It also gives the airline more options for its customers in terms of schedules and alignment.
Partnerships do not hurt, which is what Emirates is going for here. The airline has many big planes, which were easy to fill up in the past, but not so much today.
Are you glad to see Emirates add a new partner in FlySafair? Will you take advantage of this interline agreement? Let us know in the comments!