SAA inks interline agreement with CemAir – and gains some additional routes

Business Insider SA
SAA CemAir
Left: SAA A340-600 passenger jet (Getty Images), Right: CemAir livery
  • South African Airways (SAA) and CemAir announced the signing of an interline agreement on Tuesday.
  • This partnership extends the route network reach of both airlines, with SAA adding seamless connecting flights to places like Plettenberg Bay and Hoedspruit.
  • It’ll also bring down the cost of multi-destination voyages, according to SAA’s interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo.
  • For more stories, go to

South African Airways (SAA) and CemAir have signed an interline agreement which offers passengers a single itinerary and ticket on a multi-destination voyage.

It’s been less than 3 months since SAA retook to the skies following a protracted business rescue process arising from years of financial decline. During that time, South Africa’s national carrier has been busy, despite delays in the takeover from its chosen strategic equity partner, Takatso Consortium.

SAA has signed a memorandum of co-operation with Kenya Airways with a longer-term view to co-starting a Pan-African Airline Group and reactivated its partnership with Emirates. It has added direct routes to Lagos and Mauritius and culled its flights to Mozambique.

CemAir, South Africa’s privately owned domestic and regional airline, has also been busy in 2021. The airline has signed interline agreements with Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar Airways.

CemAir also spent three months – and R1 million – upgrading Plettenberg Bay airport following a downgrade by the South African Civil Aviation Authority in August.

The cooperation agreement between SAA and CemAir, announced on Tuesday, extends the route network reach of both operators, and allows customers to book a single ticket when connecting to multiple destinations.

“It also allows passengers to through check-in their baggage between connecting flights of the two carriers without going through an entire check-in process again,” said SAA’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Kgokolo.

“Airlines the world over constantly strive for efficiency and the benefit for the customer is that this agreement is convenient and lowers the cost of booking one ticket instead of two separate tickets.”

The agreement also expands SAA’s domestic offering, which, until now, has only consisted of flights between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town. With CemAir as a partner, SAA ticketholders will be able to fly to Durban, Hoedspruit, George, Kimberly, Bloemfontein, Plettenberg Bay, Margate, Sishen, and Gqeberha.

“We are excited to partner with South African Airways, one of the oldest airlines on the continent and a brand known by perhaps every South African,” said Miles van der Molen, CemAir’s CEO.

“Our interline partnership will provide our customers with savings and convenience as passengers can now seamlessly connect between the two growing networks.”

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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