Emirates, South African Airways expand codeshare deal

South African Airways (SAA) will be able to offer its customers seats on flights operated by Emirates between South Africa and Dubai. Above, passengers board a SAA plane at Port Elizabeth International Airport, South Africa. (Reuters)
Updated 18 December 2018
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Emirates, South African Airways expand codeshare deal

  • Deal will improve connectivity between Dubai and Southern Africa
  • Emirates has been flying to South Africa since 1995 and the first codeshare agreement with SAA was signed in 1997

LONDON: Dubai’s flagship airline Emirates is to expand its codesharing agreement with South African Airways (SAA), aiming to improve connectivity between the emirate and locations across Southern Africa.

The expansion of the agreement will support the African airline’s turnaround plan which aims to make a profit by 2021.

SAA is grappling with financial difficulties, having posted a string of losses and forced to rely on government support. Having failed to make a profit since 2011, it is cutting staff numbers and looks to reduce its route network.

“It’s clear that SAA is struggling to survive and so it makes sense for them to coalesce their operations with the powerhouse that is Emirates as opposed to competing head to head, because they simply won’t cut it against them,” said aviation analyst Saj Ahmad at Strategic Aero Research.

“The deal also opens up the possibility of Emirates deploying more flights to places like Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as codesharing on other SAA-regional flights to points that Emirates doesn’t serve.”

Emirates has been flying to South Africa since 1995 and the first codeshare agreement with SAA was signed in 1997.

Under this deal, SAA is able to offer its customers seats on flights operated by Emirates between South Africa and Dubai. This currently includes four daily flights from Johannesburg, three daily flights from Cape Town and one daily flight from Durban.

The new agreement will see this codeshare expand across the airlines’ networks.

“We have seen great success with the codeshare agreement, having enabled greater connectivity to both SAA and Emirates customers, by offering more choice, flexibility and ease of connections to a wide range of cities via Dubai and across more points in Southern Africa,” said Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline.

“Increasing the scope of our agreement underpins the strong bonds we share with SAA and our belief that this enhanced partnership will enable further success and gain to the airlines and their customers,” he said.

SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana said: “Our route network and that of Emirates complement one another. The expansion of our partnership will further strengthen key focus areas of the implementation of our turnaround plan.”

The agreement will include the two airlines working to improve connecting times via Johannesburg, to make it easier for people to catch flights to popular regional destinations.


US economists less optimistic, see slower growth: survey

Updated 54 sec ago
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US economists less optimistic, see slower growth: survey

  • While the odds of a US recession by 2020 remain low, they are rising
  • The odds of a recession starting in 2019 is at around 20 percent, and for 2020 at 35 percent

WASHINGTON: US economists are less optimistic about the outlook and sharply lowered their growth forecasts for this year, amid slowing global growth and continued trade frictions, according to a survey published Monday.
And while the odds of a recession by 2020 remain low, they are rising, the National Association for Business Economics said in their quarterly report.
The panel of 55 economists now believe “the US economy has reached an inflection point,” said NABE President Kevin Swift.
The consensus forecast for real GDP growth was cut by three tenths from the December survey, to 2.4 percent after 2.9 percent expansion in 2018.
The economy is expected to slow further in 2020, with growth of just 2 percent, the report said.
Three-quarters of respondents cut their GDP forecasts and believe the risks of to the economy are weighted to the downside.
“A majority of panelists sees external headwinds from trade policy and slower global growth as the primary downside risks to growth,” NABE survey chair Gregory Daco said in a statement.
“Nonetheless, recession risks are still perceived to be low in the near term.”
Panelists put the odds of a recession starting in 2019 at around 20 percent, and for 2020 at 35 percent, slightly higher than in December.
Daco said that “reflects the Federal Reserve’s dovish policy U-turn in January” when the central bank said it would keep interest rates where they are for the foreseeable future, a message reinforced this week.
After four rate increases last year, Daco said a “near-majority of panelists anticipates only one more interest rate hike in this cycle compared to the three hikes forecasted in the December survey.”
Panelists see wage growth as the biggest upside risk to the economy, despite expected increase of just 3 percent this year, as inflation holds right around the Fed’s 2 percent target.
Meanwhile, amid President Donald Trump’s aggressive tariff policies, the panel projects the trade deficit will rise to a record $978 billion this year, beating last year’s record $914 billion.
In an interesting twist in the survey, only 20 percent said they expected to see the dreaded “inverted yield curve” — when the interest rate on the 10-year Treasury note falls below the 3-month bill — this year.
In fact, the yield curve inverted on Friday for the first time since 2007.