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.
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