NEW YORK, May 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- New York's hometown airline JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) and South African Airways (SAA), Africa's most awarded airline, announced today that they have established a comprehensive interline agreement, providing new and convenient connection options for both SAA and JetBlue customers wishing to travel between the U.S. and southern Africa. Effective May 12, 2010, customers will be able to purchase a single itinerary for travel on flights of both carriers in one simple transaction, enjoying easy connecting service between all JetBlue cities and 40 cities in the South African Airways network via JFK. Tickets can be purchased by visiting South African Airways' website at www.flysaa.com, calling SAA Reservations at 1-800-722-9675, or through a travel agent.
New York's JFK is a key gateway for SAA with their daily non-stop flights to South Africa and is also the base of operations for JetBlue Airways, where it is the largest domestic airline. By working together at JFK the carriers will offer more options for travel between the United States and southern Africa and provide customers with a smooth travel experience.
This new partnership will offer increased convenience to customers on both sides of the Atlantic by allowing customers to travel on one single e-ticket and by offering through check-in. Customers will be able to check their bags to their final destination and receive boarding cards for both carriers' flights upon check-in with either JetBlue in the U.S. or SAA in southern Africa.
"There are lots of travelers flying to South Africa and southern Africa that originate in many of the cities that JetBlue currently serves," said Marc Cavaliere, executive vice president, North America for South African Airways. "We have had numerous requests from our customers expressing an interest in being able to easily connect to SAA's flights at JFK. It was an easy decision to create a seamless travel experience with JetBlue."
"Additionally, there are great synergies in service between the two airlines as we both put a premium on customer service and satisfaction," he added. "Perhaps best of all, this agreement comes just in time for the soccer championship in South Africa, and is a new and convenient way for JetBlue customers to experience the excitement of the tournament."
"We are excited to team up with South African Airways, introducing the JetBlue Experience to even more customers around the world and extending our reach all the way to the African continent," said Robin Hayes, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at JetBlue. "We look forward to offering our award-winning JetBlue Experience and even more choices to travelers, including all-leather seats, spacious legroom, unlimited free snacks and most importantly, genuine, friendly service. And, World Cup fans can follow the action on JetBlue with our 36 channels of free, live television and radio at every seatback."
South African Airways has a specially-created corporate division in place dedicated to ensuring that fans have the most comfortable and convenient service to and between the World Cup matches, including a round-the-clock domestic African flight schedule that will make it easy to fly to and from matches in the different cities. This schedule will complement SAA's already extensive flight schedule throughout southern Africa that connects with the airline's daily flight from New York/JFK.
In addition, all South African Airways flights in Johannesburg depart from the new, state-of-the-art Terminal B, providing for smooth and timely flight connections through a beautiful and modern terminal packed with many shopping, dining and relaxation options. A new lounge will provide Premium Business Class passengers with a luxurious haven in which to catch up on work, grab a bite to eat, or freshen up with revitalizing rainfall showers. Upon arrival in New York customers will transfer to JetBlue's new state-of-the-art Terminal 5 at JFK with its wide array of shopping and dining options as well as free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal and enjoy a seamless connection into the JetBlue network.
Domestic service in the U.S. will be operated by JetBlue's fleet of Airbus A320 and EMBRAER 190 aircraft. Both aircraft feature comfy leather seats equipped with personal seatback TVs that offer JetBlue's signature in-flight entertainment: 36 channels of free, live DIRECTV programming and more than 100 channels of free XM Satellite radio. On flights longer than two hours, a selection of first-run movies and bonus features from JetBlue Features is also available.
About South African Airways
South African Airways features daily nonstop service from the U.S. to South Africa with morning departures from New York JFK, and afternoon direct service from Washington Dulles (with a stop in Dakar, Senegal) that offer travel convenience and award-winning service with state-of-the-art Airbus A340 aircraft. Travelers in Premium Business Class enjoy 180 degree fully flat-bed seats, and in economy class enjoy the most legroom versus competitors. Every seat on board offers an individual on-demand entertainment system, plush pillow, warm blanket and amenity kit. SAA's unrivaled network, featuring seamless connections to nearly 20 destinations within South Africa, and more than 25 cities across the rest of the continent, makes the airline the savvy traveler's "gateway to Africa." To complement this network, a world of privileges awaits those who join Voyager, South African Airways' premier mileage program. To sign up, visit www.flysaa.com, and link to the Voyager icon. For more information on South African Airways, please call (800) 722-9675 or visit www.flysaa.com, where travelers can sign up to be notified of great travel deals and vacation packages.
About JetBlue Airways
Voted "Most Eco-Friendly Airline" by Zagat's Airline Survey in 2008 and 2009, New York-based JetBlue Airways has created a new airline category based on value, service and style. In 2009, the carrier also ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Low-Cost Carriers in North America" by J.D. Power and Associates, a customer satisfaction recognition received for the fifth year in a row. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue is now pleased to offer customers Lots of Legroom and super-spacious Even More Legroom seats. JetBlue introduced complimentary in-flight e-mail and instant messaging services on aircraft "BetaBlue," a first among U.S. domestic airlines. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 61 cities with 650 daily flights. New service to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, DC and to Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT starts in November. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JET-BLUE (1-800-538-2583), TTY/TDD 1-800-336-5530 or visit www.jetblue.com.
SOURCE JetBlue Airways