South African Airways expands Virgin Australia alliance to Sydney-Perth

By David Flynn, March 5 2014

Virgin Australia and South African Airways will extend their codeshare relationship from June 1st to include Virgin Australia’s flights between Sydney and Perth, following Qantas’ decision to abandon its alliance with South African Airways from May 31st.

The new hookup will allow passengers to book onto SAA's Perth-Johannesburg flight using Virgin’s Sydney-Perth A330 services.

Virgin Australia will continue its own Johannesburg service through Singapore Airlines, as a full codeshare on SQ flights via Singapore, with full Velocity points and status credits earnings.

South African Airways last month began codesharing Virgin Australia flights from Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide to Perth, but was prevented from adding Sydney to the roster due to the then-current QF/SAA tie-up.

"We have had a tremendous response since we first announced our new relationship with Virgin Australia" said SAA’s Country Manager for Australasia Tim Clyde-Smith.

Qantas retains its Sydney-Johannesburg route but will no longer offer bookings on South African Airways’ flight from Perth to Johannesburg, instead offering flights via Dubai with its partner Emirates.

Emirates operates three daily services between Perth and Dubai with onward connections to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, which means a long trek for the Flying Kangaroo's Perth passengers.

South African Airways' Perth-Johannesburg flight takes around 10.5 hours – the same amount of time as flying from Perth to Dubai on Emirates.

Qantas says that "customers who choose to travel on Emirates operated services to Johannesburg will have a connection time in Dubai of 1 hour and 40 minutes", after which there's another eight hours in the air – meaning that the Dubai detour will add almost 10 hours to the trip.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

CL9
CL9

22 Mar 2012

Total posts 200

It looks suspicously like a flight sim screenshot...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1136

No budget to buy a real image off Getty or Corbis, perhaps?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Apr 2013

Total posts 2

So its still only benfitting the South Africians.... Us Australian's have to go via. SIN - What gives VA/SQ? :?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 286

And SQ use their old layout B777-200's on the SIN - JNB/CPT route, so you stuck with SQ old inclined-flat biz class seat. 

It really amazes me that an airline like SQ could have such massive inconsistancies in its biz class seats (from excellent, to really quite medioca).

I've moaned more than a few times on here about how BA missed an opportunity to updated their biz class layout with the launch of their B787 and A380's. But at least Club World is consistant across their whole fleet as lay flat.

Business does, what it believes to be the most economically rational thing. The product offerings from South East Asia to South Africa is pretty average across the board. Why would SQ invest in that sector or use it's newer products, when those planes can be better used on the hot sectors, where competition is more intense?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 286

I think the point here is that SQ claims to prides itself on the level of service it provides to customers, and customers pay a premium for that. If I where flying with SQ, and paying the extra for that privilege, on this route, or it's Auckland  and Perth routes to SIN (other routes they use these planes and layout on), I would be pretty annoyed to not get the full SQ 1-2-1 biz class offering. Why bother paying the extra, when SAA has a better seat?

SQ is always innovating and has just brought to market a new biz and first class on their B777 300ER jets. The "old" (long haul) biz class is still miles a head of the competition in terms of space and amenities. So why not invest in bringing continuity to your biz class offering? The don't need to bring those massive seats they use in their other planes, but still something at least similar like the CX or QR reverse herringbone would be perfect.

Their website lists those seats and aircraft as "medium to short haul" and since both SA and NZ are ten plus hours from SIN, I wouldn't call that medium or short haul.

https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/flying-with-us/business-listing/medium-haul-business/

When you strive so hard to be regarded as the best airline there is, consistency is vital. Just look at Etihad as someone who is biting at SQ's tail to take that crown, and who nails the consistency card in its biz/first class offerings. In fact I'm sure Etihad would be a much better choice for VA customers wanting to head to SA. Particularly when they launch their Perth service later this year.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 286

I think the point here is that SQ claims to prides itself on the level of service it provides to customers, and customers pay a premium for that. If I where flying with SQ, and paying the extra for that privilege, on this route, or it's Auckland  and Perth routes to SIN (other routes they use these planes and layout on), I would be pretty annoyed to not get the full SQ 1-2-1 biz class offering. Why bother paying the extra, when SAA has a better seat?

SQ is always innovating and has just brought to market a new biz and first class on their B777 300ER jets. The "old" (long haul) biz class is still miles a head of the competition in terms of space and amenities. So why not invest in bringing continuity to your biz class offering? The don't need to bring those massive seats they use in their other planes, but still something at least similar like the CX or QR reverse herringbone would be perfect.

Their website lists those seats and aircraft as "medium to short haul" and since both SA and NZ are ten plus hours from SIN, I wouldn't call that medium or short haul.

https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/flying-with-us/business-listing/medium-haul-business/

When you strive so hard to be regarded as the best airline there is, consistency is vital. Just look at Etihad as someone who is biting at SQ's tail to take that crown, and who nails the consistency card in its biz/first class offerings. In fact I'm sure Etihad would be a much better choice for VA customers wanting to head to SA. Particularly when they launch their Perth service later this year.

Agreed. Consistency is vital. But SQ like any other profit making enterprise needs to consider revenue targets and capital expenditure as it manages shareholder value.

Would spending more money generate greater revenue on these sectors?

This is a case in point that, contrary to popular belief, SQ is not bankrolled by the government with an unlimited budget to do as it pleases.

But I get the  crux of what you're saying. Consistency is ideal.  It is both a blessing and a curse that every city in the world is not equally concentrated with high net worth individuals, who would provide the economic justification for airlines to offer very consistent services across the board.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Dec 2012

Total posts 168

What do you call a one-sided codeshare? I see the benefit to VA, it gets fed passengers into its network. Would the lack of reciprocation be a choice from VA or something established with current partners like SQ to agree to funnel passengers to certain destinations using current codeshares?

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

This does not benefit any flyers who are a member of Velocity, as they will not be able to earn full Velocity points and status credits earnings, thus it is considered one sided. I suspect it is not necessarily VA's choice but rather as you said a necessity as they have agreements with SQ in place.

Will SAA members earn status mileage for PER-SYD vv. when crediting to Voyager?

The PER-SIN-JNB is slightly less cumbersome than PER-DXB-JNB (travel time wise) so VA still has a bit of an edge. Mind you, as QFF you can still travel direct on QF's flight for the time being.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 112

i dont get understand why QF wont fly via PER on some days (would be more beneficial for people from everywhere but SYD)

01 Feb 2012

Total posts 370

As others have noted, SYD-JNB flights do not go anywhere near Perth.

If interested, go to travelmath dot com and look at the Sydney to JNB flight map. 

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 938

https://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=syd-jnb,+syd-per-jnb

SYD-JNB doesn't go near PER.

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 93

Not sure a 5.1% difference is so significant...also that map is slighly misleading given it's your usual flat map that represents a curved world. Pan out the map and you'll note greenland is bigger than Australia!

The reality is Perth makes absolute sense for an Australian hub for flights to Africa.

27 Feb 2013

Total posts 12

The SYD-JNB flight goes over the top of Melbourne. Qantas would  benefit by stopping in Melbourne as this would enable them to offer an additional international destination from Melbourne as well as adding domestic capacity/connections with no additional capital outlay.

05 Dec 2013

Total posts 36

I remember years ago (1997) when Qantas used to fly from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth direct to JNB.  Back when it had a brilliant network.  Those were the days.

05 Dec 2013

Total posts 36

I remember years ago (1997) when Qantas used to fly from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth direct to JNB.  Back when it had a brilliant network.  Those were the days.


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