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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