Struggling South African Airways Expands Emirates Code Share Agreement

Simple Flying has learnt that South African Airways has expanded their codeshare with Emirates despite their struggles. The deal, which was announced on Tuesday, is a rare glimmer of hope for the airline which is in financial difficulty. Despite the fact the Aviation industry is booming on the African continent, South African Airlines has failed to post a profit since 2011, seven years ago. The airline has been relying on handouts from the South African Government to stay afloat. The South African government owns the airline.

Emirates South African Airways
South African Airlines is struggling financially. Photo: Emirates

Emirates Codeshare Agreement

Emirates and South African Airlines have been partners for a long time, with their original codesharing agreement set up 21 years ago in 1997. Speaking of the new deal, Emirates CEO Tim Clark said: “We have seen great success with the codeshare agreement, having enabled greater connectivity to both SAA and Emirates customers… 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”.

Emirates South African Airways
The new deal between Emirates and SAA was announced on Tuesday. Photo: Emirates

Before the expansion of the codeshare agreement, 90,000 passengers benefited from the existing codeshare agreement in the past year alone. South African Airlines offers customers seats on the eight flights operated each day between South Africa and Dubai by Emirates. However, the new codeshare agreement means that SAA passengers will be able to travel on even more Emirates flights. Additionally, Emirates passengers will be able to utilise on more SAA flights.

Finally, the new agreement will enhance the frequent flyer programs of each airline. South African Airlines Voyager members can collect and redeem points on Emirates flights. Similarly, Emirates Skywards members can receive and redeem points on South African Airways flights.

Emirates South African Airways
Emirates has seen its profits fall amid high oil prices. Photo: Emirates

Part Of Turnaround Plan

South African Airlines CEO, Vuyani Jarana, told the press how the expanded codeshare agreement is part of the Airline’s turnaround plan. The plan involves SAA making a profit by 2021, by cutting its number of routes and jobs. After posting a profit, SAA hopes to sell shares in its business. Speaking about the codeshare agreement, Mr Jarana said: “This agreement marks a significant forward step in the execution of our strategy and in transforming our business… 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.”

Do you think the agreement will help turn around SAA? Let us know in the comments down below!