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JetBlue And South African Airways Announce Bilateral Codeshare

NEW YORK and JOHANNESBURG, July 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU), New York's Hometown Airline(TM), and South African Airways (SAA) today announced a bilateral codeshare agreement to seamlessly connect the carriers' networks via New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington's Dulles International Airport (IAD). The agreement is pending U.S. DOT regulatory approval and subject to receipt of foreign government operating authority.

The partnership – an expansion of an interline agreement first inked in 2010 – allows customers to purchase a single ticket combining SAA- and JetBlue-operated flights and enjoy day-of-travel conveniences such as one-stop check-in and baggage transfer.

JetBlue intends to place its "B6" code on South African Airways-operated flights between the U.S. and both Johannesburg, South Africa, and Dakar, Senegal, as well as on connecting flights to select destinations beyond Johannesburg, including Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Tickets will be available for sale at a later date, pending regulatory and government approvals. 

The fastest way to more of South Africa and southern Africa, SAA flies nonstop each day between New York and Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport and daily between Washington and Johannesburg via Dakar's Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport.

SAA has had a similar arrangement in place with JetBlue since 2011, placing its "SA" code on JetBlue-operated flights from its U.S. gateways to top destinations including Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida. 

"We are excited to expand our successful relationship with South African Airways through this new codeshare via Washington and JFK, where JetBlue is the number one domestic airline," said Scott Laurence, JetBlue's vice president of network planning and partnerships. "South African has been a terrific travel partner for JetBlue, consistently delivering a great experience for our customers. We look forward to working with them to offer even more travel options in the years to come."

"South African Airways' partnership with JetBlue has been a successful one from the start, and so we're pleased that it has now grown into a bilateral codeshare arrangement, providing our customers with even more convenient booking and travel options," said Marc Cavaliere, SAA's executive vice president, North America & Alliances. "Our customers have raved about the ease of travel on both airlines. It was only fitting that we expand the partnership and introduce the JetBlue code onto SAA flights and into the African continent."

South African Airways is one of the world's most awarded airlines, recently named Best Airline in Africa for the 11 th consecutive year at the World Airline Awards presented by Skytrax. With fully-flat bed seats in Premium Business Class, industry-leading legroom in Economy Class, sumptuous cuisine and award-winning, complimentary South African wines, SAA provides an in-flight experience designed for pure comfort. Individual audio/video entertainment systems deliver a surplus of first-run movie and music choices. Via its Johannesburg hub, SAA links the world to most cities and destinations across southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, including South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Known for its award-winning customer service, JetBlue offers codeshare customers connecting to/from SAA flights a premium experience that includes unlimited free snacks and drinks plus the most legroom in economy class (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) and the most free live entertainment of any U.S. airline. JetBlue operates one of America's youngest airline fleets, with 187 Airbus A320 and EMBRAER 190 aircraft.

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