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

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.


UAE to impose 50% tax on soft drinks in health drive

Updated 54 min 3 sec ago

UAE to impose 50% tax on soft drinks in health drive

  • The 50% tax on soft drinks and 100% on vaping products start Jan. 1, 2020
  • The government says the taxes are necessary to help persuade people to make healthier choices

DUBAI: The UAE government has announced new taxes of up to 100 percent aimed at vaping and soft drinks, in a bid to reduce the consumption of unhealthy products.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the new list of taxable products will include sugary and sweetened soft drinks, as well as powders that can be used to make drinks, and electronic smoking devices.

A statement on state-run news agency WAM said the step is aimed at reducing “consumption of unhealthy goods and modifying consumers’ behavior.”

The Cabinet decision, will add a 50 percent tax on soft drinks with added sugar, in form of a liquid, concentrate, powders, extracts or any product that may be converted into a drink.

Vaping devices and the associated products will be taxed at 100%. (File/Shutterstock)

“The decision also requires manufacturers to clearly identify the sugar content in order for consumers to make sensible healthy choices,” the statement read.

The cabinet also announced the introduction of a 100 percent tax on electronic smoking devices - irrespective of whether they contain nicotine or tobacco - and the liquids used in the devices.

The UAE government first introduced a tax on specific goods deemed harmful to human health in 2017.