SAA ANNOUNCES NEW INTERLINE DEAL WITH VIRGIN BLUE TO STRENGTHEN SOUTH AFRICAN ROUTES02/04/2009
Thursday 2 April 2009: South African Airways has announced that it has reached a new agreement with Virgin Blue to offer passengers greater choice, seamless transfers and more value fares to passengers travelling to South Africa through its Sydney and Perth hubs.
According to Thevan Krishna, SAA’s Head of Australasia, the agreement with Virgin Blue had been negotiated for over a year and meant that passengers would now have the opportunity to book tickets to Johannesburg and greater Africa using Virgin Blue’s extensive domestic network.
“The deal offers passengers far greater choice and means Virgin Blue customers can book through their travel agent tapping into SAA’s extensive network which is the most comprehensive in Africa,” Thevan said.
The new interline agreement will commence from 8 April, 2009.
Virgin Blue General Manager Sales, Mathias Friess, said, “We are very pleased to be working with South Africa Airways as our newest interline partner. Virgin Blue is a high quality airline offering a range of products and services to suit the needs of all travellers from the cost conscious to the discerning flyer requiring the added extras. “
He added, “With the introduction of initiatives both in the air and on the ground, such as Premium Economy seating, Live satellite in-seat TV’s, as well as Business Lounge facilities in key ports, Virgin Blue surpasses the expectations of the most discerning of carriers, including our newest partner, South Africa Airways.”
The deal will also mean visitors from South Africa using SAA services can utilise Virgin Blue’s comprehensive network in Australia and take advantage of its high quality and value-for money fares
Thevan Krishna continued, “Both SAA and Virgin Blue are working to ensure the whole process for passengers is as seamless as possible and we look forward to welcoming many of Virgin Blue’s loyal customers onboard SAA as they experience the trip of a lifetime to Africa.
“SAA is seeing strong interest in travel to South Africa and Africa due to the low value of the South African rand compared to the Australian dollar.
“2009 is shaping up as a big year as we build up momentum and prepare for the World Cup in 2010. As the fastest, most direct way of getting to the African continent from Australia, we have great confidence in the future of the route and are delighted to be partnering with Virgin Blue in the future,” Thevan concluded.
For more information on SAA flights and reservations please call 1300 435 972 or www.flysaa.com
South African Airways flies non-stop from Perth to Johannesburg five times a week and six times a week from Sydney. SAA flies to 39 cities in 29 countries on six continents and is the leading carrier in Africa. SAA is consistently voted the 'Best Airline & Cabin Crew in Africa', winning it again for the 15th consecutive year in the Travel Weekly Globe Awards in London. SAA took out top honours at the World Travel Awards in London, winning three awards in the Africa category. SAA is a member of STAR, the world’s largest and most comprehensive airline alliance consisting of 18 of the world’s leading airlines and 842 airport destinations across 155 countries. For all SAA media releases see www.africaourhome.com/media
Multi award winning airline Virgin Blue and international carriers V Australia, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue operate a fleet of modern Boeing 737, Boeing 777 and Embraer E-Jet aircraft flying to 28 Australian and 13 international destinations including Los Angeles, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Bali and the Solomon Islands. Australia's newest international airline, V Australia, recently launched flights between Sydney and Los Angeles, with flights between Brisbane and LA set to commence from 8 April 2009. Flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles are scheduled for later this year. Virgin Blue was the first airline in the world to launch a Government-certified carbon offset program, where Guests can offset the carbon emissions from their flights. Visit www.virginblue.com.au or www.vaustralia.com.au for further information.