SunExpress, the joint venture of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, is doubling its charter capacity to South African Airways (SAA) in the winter season 2024/2025. SunExpress will support SAA’s operations with four aircraft in the upcoming winter season.
SunExpress and SAA already have a six-month damp-lease agreement, which started in October and covers two Boeing 737-800 aircraft as well as maintenance and cockpit crews. The goodwill agreement for the new cooperation was signed by SunExpress CEO Max Kownatzki and SAA CEO Prof. John Lamola in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In addition, SunExpress and SAA plan to expand their cooperation in different areas. Among the plans, they are focusing on long-term mutual capacity support, as well as new cooperation opportunities in technical maintenance and training.
Max Kownatzki, CEO of SunExpress, said: “This goodwill agreement demonstrates our commitment to further strengthen our ongoing cooperation with South African Airways. We aim to grow our cooperation in a way that is efficient for both companies. We are proud of our new agreement and the strong relationship of trust we have established with SAA. We will develop a strong and long-term partnership and together we will seize the opportunities that will come our way in the future. SunExpress will more than double our fleet in the next ten years, reaching a fleet of 150 aircraft by 2033. This kind of cooperation allows us to utilize our fleet efficiently and mitigates the impact of seasonality.”
SAA CEO Prof. John Lamola expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing cooperation and said, “SunExpress has shown itself to be an extremely reliable partner for us with our cooperation that started a few months ago. We are delighted that this invaluable cooperation will not only continue, but also expand to include additional aircraft for our busy holiday season. The additional aircraft will not only support our operations by meeting increased customer demand during the high season, but will also enable us to better manage the global aircraft availability challenge.”
New Route Port Elizabeth
Under the existing dump-lease agreement, SunExpress aircraft and crews operate 12 daily domestic flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town and Durban on behalf of South African Airways. In addition, as of December 13, two daily flights have been added from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth).