Virgin and SAA reciprocate on loyalty benefits
Virgin Atlantic Airways and South African Airways (SAA) have entered into a commercial co-operation that includes a fully reciprocal Frequent Flyer programme partnership and a new codesharing agreement.
The frequent flyer programme partnership will offer reciprocal benefits to members of both Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club and South African Airways' Voyager programme, meaning that miles can be earned or redeemed through the services of either airline.
Shared benefits The codesharing agreement is effective from October 31st, 2004, and enables passengers travelling on Virgin Atlantic services between London and Johannesburg to connect with South African Airways services to a variety of South African destinations including Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mpumulanga (Kruger Park) and Pilanesburg (Sun City). Virgin Atlantic's passengers can also benefit from scheduled connections with South African Airways' pan-African network although those services will not initially be part of the codesharing agreement.
Future expansion "The codeshare will bring a rise in the number of passengers travelling on SAA in the domestic market," explained South African Airways' president and CEO, Andre Viljoen. "We are also looking forward to future cooperation that includes a possible partnership on the Cape Town to London route."
South African Airways flies to more than 20 destinations across the African continent, and to 40 cities throughout 30 countries on six continents, and currently carries over 6.5 million passengers per year.
Upper Class soon Virgin Atlantic flies daily between Heathrow and Johannesburg, and operates three flights per week between Heathrow and Cape Town during the UK winter season. The airline's Upper Class Suite is expected to be available on the South African routes by winter 2004.
"Our passengers travelling to Johannesburg can will benefit from convenient connections to domestic and regional destinations," commented Willy Boulter, commercial director for Virgin Atlantic.