By James Wilkinson
South African Airways (SAA) 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.
SAA and Virgin Blue have signed an interline agreement
SAA head of Australasia, Thevan Krishna, said 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,” he said.
The new interline agreement commences tomorrow (Apr 8) and 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.
“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,” Krishna said.
“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,” Krishna said.
Virgin Blue general manager sales, Mathias Friess, said, the airline was very pleased to be working with South Africa Airways as its 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 said.
“With the introduction of initiatives both in the air and on the ground, such as premium economy seating, live satellite in-seat TVs, 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,” Friess said.
For more information on SAA flights, visit www.flysaa.com