JOHANNESBURG, South African Airways (SAA) and TAAG Angola Airlines jave entered into a code sharing scheme to reduce operations costs for both airlines and provide more flights for their passengers despite a long-overdue debt of one billion Rand (about 80.74 million US dollars) owed to SAA for airline tickets.

The deal means that passengers can board either of the two airlines with a single ticket and that direct flights from Johannesburg to Luanda and from Cape Town to Luanda will be available on a more frequent basis.

The deal is also expected to enhance trade between the two countries.

SAA has similar code sharing agreements with airlines from Mauritius, Rwanda, Egypt and Ethiopia.

The customers will have a wider variety of choice in terms of the destination that they are travelling and days they want to travel, it will also have benefit for the airlines in terms of the operating costs and each airline can secure a seat regardless of where the passenger has secured a ticket, SAA Spokesperson Tlali Tlali said here Thursday.

SAA says that TAAG Angola Airlines has begun to pay some of its one billion Rand debt which has been due for more than a year and half. It is a matter which is currently receiving attention between the two governments and we should be able to make an announcement on the progress when we are ready to do so, SAA says.

The code sharing agreement between the two countries will be implemented from Jan 14 and SAA is confident that it will help enhance capacity and reduce operational costs.