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JOHANNESBURG - South African Airways (SAA) has signed codeshare and Frequent Flyer agreements with Brazilian airline Gol - Linhas Aéreas (GOL).

In a statement, SAA said the agreement will enable it to add its code on flights operated by GOL in the Brazilian territory, which will allow SAA customers to integrate their travel with easy connections on flights of both carriers. 

The codeshare became effective from Thursday and tickets can already be purchased through all SAA sales channels, including flysaa.com.

The agreement makes it possible for SAA to add its code on 20 connecting flights in Brazil operated by GOL, including Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, and Florianópolis, among others. 

Besides the codeshare, the signed frequent flyer programme (FFP) agreement offers members of each airline’s programmes, Voyager from SAA and Smiles from GOL, the opportunity to accrue and redeem miles. 

This means that customers from Smiles can accrue and redeem miles on flights operated by SAA to Africa, Asia and Australia, and Voyager members can accrue and redeem Voyager miles on flights operated by GOL.

Zuks Ramasia, SAA acting chief executive, said this was an important step for the struggling airline as it looks to implement its long-term turnaround strategy. 

"We are extremely pleased with this agreement which comes at an opportune time and gives strategic impetus to our strategy of growing partnerships globally to offer our customers more travel options," Ramasia said.

"It is an important step in the execution of our strategy and gives our customers, through our direct flights to Sao Paulo, a number of further travel options to explore Brazil. In turn, the mutually beneficial agreement offers GOL customers the chance to explore the riches of Africa."

Randall Saenz Aguero, GOL's director of alliances, international expansion and distribution, said the partnership with SAA was in line with their commitment to offer a larger international connectivity and integrated products of each carrier. 

"Thus, we enable more destinations options and connectivity bringing more benefits to our clients, with more agility and the smart use of time on their trips," Aguero said. 

- African News Agency (ANA)