New partnership between Emirates, FlySafair links three SA airports with Dubai

Business Insider SA
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08: Fly Safair airline
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08: Fly Safair airlines during the KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and members of the Cabinet visit to King Shaka International Airport to assess state of readiness for the full resumption of flights on July 08, 2020 in Durban, South Africa. According to a media release, the KZN economy has contracted by R30-billion and the tourism sector has been the hardest hit due to the lockdown regulations because of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
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  • Dubai-based Emirates airlines has announced a partnership with low-cost carrier FlySafair.
  • The interline agreement offers single-ticket travel and through tagging of baggage from Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban.
  • Emirates passengers can now connect to FlySafair’s domestic points in Port Elizabeth, East London, and George.
  • The latest deal comes just one month after Emirates confirmed its partnership with Airlink, expanding the connection between Southern Africa and the UAE.
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Emirates has entered into a partnership with FlySafair, South Africa’s largest domestic airline.

The latest interline agreement allows Emirates passengers to connect with airports in Port Elizabeth, East London, and George. Travellers won't have to book connecting flights separately.  It also allows Emirates travellers the option of departing from FlySafair’s domestic points when returning to Dubai.

An interlink agreement also usually means that the airlines will handle the check-in and baggage for each other’s passengers, so you only need to check in once for connecting flights on either airline.

Flight bookings will be handled by Emirates and travel agencies.

Qatar Airways also recently entered into a similar agreement with FlySafair.

Emirates’ latest interline agreement comes at a critical time for South Africa’s travel industry. With the country shutoff to visitors during the height of the global coronavirus pandemic – between April and September – airlines have begun to look at strategic international partnerships as a way of resuscitating the industry and recouping losses incurred while under lockdown.

“As of November, we will be operating at our full capacity again, which will see us operating just over 75% of the available domestic seat capacity in South Africa,” said Kirby Gordon, the Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair. “International traffic is still very limited given the various restrictions in place, but we are happy to report that there has been a slow and steady uptick in the volumes of flights we are selling through our connection agreements like that with Emirates.”

Shortly after resuming its South African operations in early October, Emirates signed an extensive interline agreement with Airlink. The Johannesburg-based airline has a broad Southern African network, flying to 25 destinations beyond South Africa. Airlink’s fleet, which consists of more than 50 aircraft, now connects Emirates passengers to Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia and others.

Emirates' partnerships with Airlink and FlySafair coincide with uncertainty surrounding the future of South Africa’s national carrier. South African Airways (SAA), which maintains a codeshare agreement, frequent flier benefits and interline agreement with Emirates, is in the throes of a protracted business rescue programme.

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