On 31 March 2002 Virgin Atlantic will launch code-share services in conjunction with South African carrier Nationwide. The arrangement will provide passengers with daily connections between Johannesburg and both Cape Town and Durban, and will promote Johannesburg as our Southern African hub.
We will combine our schedules to enable us to offer passengers fast and convenient connections to Cape Town and Durban on a year round basis.
Jointly Virgin Atlantic and Nationwide will be able to grow and provide increased competition in the Southern Africa market.
Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, said:
“We are delighted to announce this code-share deal with Nationwide, as it means that our passengers can now travel between Johannesburg and both Cape Town and Durban every day of the week and will have a range of several flights to choose from.
“Virgin is committed to growing its business interests in South Africa, and to serving Cape Town as a growing leisure destination. Our code-share with Nationwide will help to increase the flow of tourists to this increasingly popular part of the world.
“Over the last few months the demand for our routes to South Africa has been amazing, and has helped Virgin Atlantic to come through the recent challenges which faced the industry, in good shape.”
Vernon Bricknell the CEO of Nationwide Airlines, commented:
“Since we first began our strategic partnership with Virgin Atlantic in the latter part of 1999, we have worked very hard to constantly upgrade the level and capability of our service.
“In 2001 we became a participant in Virgin Atlantic`s frequent flyer program flying club and to now be able to grow the relationship into a fully-fledged code-share, is really pleasing and I believe a great compliment for what we have achieved to date.
“We look forward to carrying Virgin Atlantic`s passengers to not only Cape Town and Durban but also to our other leisure destinations such as Livingstone (Victoria Falls), Zambia and George (Knysna/Garden route) in the Cape; as well as to the other important business centres in our region such as Lusaka , Zambia, and the new South African destinations of East London and Port Elizabeth that will also be added to our network in the next two months.”
Virgin Atlantic currently flies between London Heathrow and Cape Town twice a week during the British winter, and offers year round daily services to Johannesburg. Capacity has recently been added to the Johannesburg route by operating services with a Boeing 747 - 400 aircraft.