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Etihad...enhancing access to South Africa

Etihad, SAA in codeshare for new Abu Dhabi-Johannesburg route

ABU DHABI, March 30, 2015

Etihad Airways, UAE’s national airline, is expanding its network following the launch of a new daily service between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi by its codeshare partner, South African Airways (SAA).

A delegation of senior SAA management, South African government officials and visiting travel trade and media representatives, were welcomed to Abu Dhabi when flight SA 278 touched down at Abu Dhabi International Airport last night.

The new service has been introduced as part of an expansion of the strategic partnership agreement between the two airlines.

As a result, South African Airways’ guests travelling from Africa, can access up to 35 new codeshare destinations, pending regulatory approval, with connections through the Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub to key destinations in the GCC region, Europe, North and South East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and Australia.

Etihad Airways’ guests will benefit from enhanced access to Africa on South African Airways’ new service from Abu Dhabi to Johannesburg, and subject to outstanding regulatory approval, onwards to 17 codeshare destinations across South African Airways’ network in Africa.

In addition to the network benefits of the partnership, the airlines will also work closely together to achieve a range of synergies where opportunities exist to generate new revenues and drive cost savings. Examples of this include reciprocity across their respective loyalty programmes, sharing state-of-the-art lounge facilities, and reviewing the airlines cargo operations, training and procurement.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways' chief commercial officer, said: “We are delighted to welcome South African Airways to Abu Dhabi, and are confident that its new service will prove popular with the increasing numbers of business and leisure travellers that fly between South Africa and key markets around the world.”

Nico Bezuidenhout, South African Airways acting chief executive officer, said: “The introduction of an SAA frequency between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi through our codeshare and extended relationship with Etihad Airways will not only benefit passengers in terms of greater connectivity, particularly in the South East Asia region, but also provide Etihad Airways’ guests with greater access to the African continent through our extensive African network.”

Tourism plays a vital role for both countries. Millions of tourists visit South Africa every year, including nearly 300,000 from the Middle East region in 2014.

The new South African Airways service is operated by a two-cabin Airbus A330-200 aircraft, configured to carry 36 passengers in Business Class and 186 in Economy Class. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: abu dhabi | Etihad | South Africa | Johannesburg | Saa |

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