SAA, Air China in code share pact

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SAAplane INDEPENDENT MEDIA A South African Airways aeroplane. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu.

South African Airways (SAA) announced on Monday that it has entered into a code share agreement with Air China, with the hope that this will complement SAA's newly inaugurated non-stop service between Johannesburg and Beijing.

According to SAA, the agreement would effectively enhance flight choices for customers, whether originating in Africa or China, through seamless connections and frequent flyer mileage opportunities.

SAA said that both airlines, which are members of Star Alliance, would introduce code-share services on the main route (Johannesburg-to-Beijing-to-Johannesburg) that was launched by SAA on January 31.

The agreement entitles SAA to offer flights with the SA code on Air China-operated flights between Beijing and Shanghai, and Air China would in turn be able to offer flights with its CA code on SAA's service between Beijing and Johannesburg.

In addition, SAA Voyager members would also earn miles for flying on the SA-coded flights between Beijing and Shanghai.

The new flight options would be made available for booking and purchase from February 28 2012, for travel as of March 1.

“The introduction of aviation links between nations nurtures economic activity, with domestic and regional benefit within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) expected to pay dividends both in terms of trade and tourism,” Siza Mzimela SAA CEO said.

Mzimela added that the code share agreement between the two airlines allowed for seamless travel to China's main business centres.

“Customers of both airlines will benefit from the options to travel between two burgeoning economies with two airlines that offer outstanding service within their respective markets” he said.

SAA launched its first ever non-stop flight from Johannesburg to Beijing on January 31 2012. It was the first of three new weekly flights between SA and the Chinese capital.

The direct route between SA and China will play a strategic role in increasing tourism, trade and other economic relationships between the respective countries. - I-Net Bridge

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