Discovery partners with SAA after Comair's exit – with lounges, fast boarding, cheap flights

Business Insider SA
SAA (Photo by Gallo Images/Jacques Stander)
SAA (Photo by Gallo Images/Jacques Stander)
  • Discovery announced its newest partnership with South African Airways on Monday.
  • This comes after Comair, Discovery's long-time travel partner, grounded Kulula and British Airways flights, entering liquidation.
  • Discovery clients will now have access to premium airport lounges refurbished in partnership with SAA.
  • They'll also get discounts on domestic and regional SAA flights.
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Discovery Bank announced a new partnership with South African Airways (SAA) on Monday in the wake of the demise of its long-time carrier companion, Comair.

Discovery's favoured domestic Vitality travel partner, Comair, recently entered liquidation after running out of money amid a painful business rescue process. So significant was the partnership that the financial services group offered to prepay R100 million to ensure discounted Kulula and British Airways flights for members at the end of 2020.

When Comair announced that it had indefinitely grounded flights due to a severe cash crunch, Discovery Bank announced that it would immediately refund Vitality clients affected by the shutdown.

In announcing on Monday that Discovery Bank had swelled its number of accounts to more than a million since launching in 2020, the company confirmed its newest airline partnership with SAA.

See also | Discovery is launching pay-as-go gym for R75 to R100 a session – or free until the end of July

The partnership gives Discovery Bank clients access to The Lounge at Johannesburg's OR Tambo, Cape Town, and King Shaka airports. The premium airport lounges have a selection of drinks and healthy dining options for passengers looking for added comfort between flights. Platinum, Black, or Purple Discovery Card holders can enjoy unlimited use of The Lounge until the end of 2022.

"We are delighted to work with SAA to upgrade these iconic lounges," said Discovery Bank CEO Hylton Kallner.

"Along with our Priority Fast Track Lanes at the OR Tambo and Cape Town International Airports, Discovery Bank clients will now enjoy the best possible end-to-end travel experience."

SAA will also be added to the Vitality Travel flight partner network, which offers Discovery clients discounted domestic and regional flights. "Discovery Bank clients are saving on average 31% per flight," the company said in its statement.

"We appreciate the collaboration with Discovery and believe that this partnership will add to the customer experience when choosing SAA as your carrier of choice," said SAA Interim Executive Chairman and CEO John Lamola.

"We are heading in the right direction, as this partnership is a win-win-win for SAA, Discovery and, most importantly, our customers."

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