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Four U.S. carriers announce new code-share agreements

Four U.S. airlines—US Airways, American, Alaska and Virgin America—have set new code-sharing partnerships with foreign carriers that will provide for seamless connections all around the world.

US Airways said it has begun code-sharing with South African Airways; both companies are members of the global Star Alliance. The new pact will let US Airways customers purchase a single ticket for connections to SAA’s Johannesburg hub via Washington Dulles, New York JFK, Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Munich. They can also connect through Johannesburg to the South African cities of Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, or to Dakar, Senegal, which is a stop on SAA’s IAD-Johannesburg route. the agreement also puts SAA’s code on connections to US Airways domestic destinations.

Meanwhile, US Airways said it will also kick off a new code-sharing partnership for travel beginning January 7 with Colombian carrier Avianca, a subsidiary of AviancaTaca Holdings. The deal calls for single ticketing and seamless connections for US Airways passengers to Bogota, Colombia via Ft. Lauderdale, New York JFK and Orlando; to Medellin, Colombia from JFK and Miami; and to the Colombian cities of Barranquilla, Cali and Cartagena from Miami. US Airways is also expanding its existing code-share partnership with Avianca’s sister company, TACA, to include connections via Chicago O’Hare to Guatemala City, Guatemala and San Salvador, El Salvador. The partnerships also include the ability to redeem status Dividend Miles for travel on the two Latin American airlines, US Airways said.

American said it has signed agreements to code-share with TAM Airlines, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil; and with LAN Colombia, based in Bogota. AA already code-shares with LAN Airlines, a Oneworld alliance member, to various South American cities from LAN’s hubs in Argentina, Chile, Peru and Ecuador. “Once the (new) code-share agreements are approved, these new relationships will provide American’s customers seamless connecting service within Colombia and Brazil,” a spokesman said. The agreements will also give TAM and LAN Colombia flyers access to U.S. cities served by American. Meanwhile, American also said it plans to begin new service in late 2013 from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Bogota and from Miami to Curitiba and Porto Alegre in Brazil.

Alaska Airlines said that beginning early in 2013, it will implement a new code-sharing and frequent flyer partnership with Aeromexico. Members of both carriers’ frequent flyer programs will be able to earn miles for flights on the other (including elite-qualifying miles for Alaska Mileage Plan members on Aeromexico flights), and will be able to claim award travel on either carrier “beginning later in 2013,” Alaska said. “Travelers connecting between Alaska Airlines and Aeromexico will be able to check in with the originating carrier, receive their boarding passes and check baggage through the their final destination,” a spokesman said. With a hub in Mexico City, Aeromexico flies to 45 cities in Mexico and to 11 other Latin American countries.

Virgin America announced the start of new code-sharing with Singapore Airlines, its second international code-sharing partnership along with Virgin Australia. The company said the new pact, already in effect, “offers seamless booking using the Singapore Airlines code (SQ) on a single ticket for guests traveling between Asia and multiple Virgin America destinations in the U.S. including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago (ORD), Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, Seattle and Washington D.C. (IAD).”

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